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Put Off Your Old Self

http://bible.us/r/6u.L

Today I am reading day 21 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

Put Off Your Old Self

Ephesians 4:22 So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to—the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires.

• What does it mean to “put off your old self”?
• How can you avoid temptation?

When we invite Jesus into our lives, we repent of our sins and ask for God’s forgiveness. To repent means not only to be sorry but also to turn completely away from sin. To repent means to turn our backs to sin and our faces to God.

The minute that we invited Jesus into our lives, we became a new creation. But this doesn’t mean that our work (or his) is done. “Putting off your old self” is a continual process. We need to continue to turn away from sin and work to put evil out of our lives completely.

Sometimes this means that we need to break bad habits. Sometimes it means avoiding activities and situations that can lead us to temptation.

The Bible tells us that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Evil is very real, but Christians don’t have to fall victim to it. By relying on God and resisting evil, we can have peace in our lives and rest in God’s love.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, thank you for saving us from sin. Please help us to put off our old selves every day. Please protect us from temptation and help us to serve only you. Amen.

The Source of Wisdom

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Today I am reading day 20 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

The Source of Wisdom

Psalm 119:99 I understand more than all my teachers, because I meditate on your instructions.

• How can you tell if someone is wise?
• What is the wisest thing anyone has ever said to you?

In the Garden of Eden, the serpent — ​the devil — ​had a specific strategy for getting Adam and Eve to sin. Look at his words to Eve in Genesis 3:1: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Notice how he tries to make Eve question God’s words.

Satan knew that whatever useful knowledge Adam and Eve possessed came from God. He knew that if he could plant doubts in their minds about God’s words, he stood a good chance of making them sin. Unfortunately, his strategy worked. In fact, it worked so well that he still uses it today.

For us, the Bible is the source of wisdom. God’s Word helps us distinguish right from wrong and equips us to make the best choices for our lives. Naturally, then, that is Satan’s target. He tries to get us to doubt God’s Word and underestimate its importance. He tries to convince us that it’s boring or too hard to understand.
The way to defend yourself against Satan’s attacks is to meditate on what the Bible says. If you fill your mind with God’s wisdom, you will have the confidence to shoot down temptations and doubts.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, thank you for giving us your wisdom in the pages of the Bible. Please bless our efforts to meditate on your Word and let it make a difference in our lives. Amen.

Trustworthy

http://bible.us/r/6u.J

Today I am reading day 19 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

Trustworthy

Psalm 119:138 The rules that you have given are completely fair and right.

• Who do you trust? Why?
• What does it mean to be trustworthy?

For thousands of years, people have tried to prove the Bible wrong. They argue that its stories are fiction. They claim its teachings are narrow-minded and outdated. Ultimately, though, their arguments don’t stack up. After all this time, the Bible’s reputation stands. The life principles it teaches are just as relevant today as they were a thousand years ago. Billions of people have built joyful, fulfilling lives on its words.

Like those people, we can trust God’s Word enough to base our lives on it. James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” It’s one thing to say you trust the Bible; it’s another thing to live as though you trust it. That’s the kind of trust God is looking for — ​the living kind.

How do you know if you are living God’s Word and not merely hearing it? The Holy Spirit will let you know. Ask God to help you take a good look at your life. Ask him to show you how trusting his Word is obvious in the way you live — ​as well as how your trust is not so obvious.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, thank you for giving us something we can trust in our undependable world. Give us the wisdom and strength to keep trusting your Word, no matter what. Amen.

The Ultimate Authority

http://bible.us/r/6u.I

Today I am reading day 18 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

The Ultimate Authority

Romans 15:4 Everything written in the Scriptures was written to teach us, in order that we might have hope through the patience and encouragement which the Scriptures give us.

• Think of someone who has earned your respect. What makes that person worthy of your respect? If that person gave you an instruction, how would you respond? Explain.
• How would you respond if someone you didn’t respect gave you an instruction? What would be the difference?

The Bible contains a lot of really good advice — ​but it’s not a self-help book. It’s much more important than that. A self-help book may be a useful tool, but it’s not absolutely necessary. The Bible is an integral part of our relationship with God.

The Bible is more like an instruction manual. It shows us how we are constructed and what we are designed for. It tells us very specifically what we must do in order to run at maximum capacity. The more closely we follow what the Bible says, the better chance we have of creating a life that resembles God’s blueprint. Not only does the Bible give us instruction, the Scriptures are one means of grace by which the Holy Spirit works to transform our lives.

The Bible is also a law book. It is the final authority for what is right and wrong. The Bible, then, is the perfect yardstick for measuring the things that influence us. If an idea, teaching or piece of advice follows God’s Word, we should consider it. If it doesn’t, we should beware of it. It’s that simple.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, thank you for giving us the Bible as the authority to guide our lives. Help us keep a proper respect for your Word. Amen.

God’s Interpreter

http://bible.us/r/6u.H

Today I am reading day 17 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

God’s Interpreter

1 Corinthians 2:12 We have not received this world’s spirit; instead, we have received the Spirit sent by God, so that we may know all that God has given us.

• Why do some people consider the Bible intimidating or hard to understand?
• What do you do when you read something you don’t understand in the Bible?

Are you comfortable with the Bible? Many people aren’t. Some are intimidated by its size. Others get lost in all the old traditions and strange stories. Still others have a hard time understanding the actual words — ​even in modern translations. Because the Bible is not like any other book ever written, some people have a hard time getting into it.

God understands the limits of our human minds. He should — ​he created them. And he really wants us to understand what is in his Word. So he sends his Holy Spirit to act as an interpreter for us. The Holy Spirit takes the words of the Bible and translates them in a personal way so that we understand not only what they mean but also how we can use them in our lives.

The secret to understanding Scripture is to pray before and after you read it. Before you start to read, ask the Holy Spirit to clear your mind of any distractions. Ask him to help you focus on the words in front of you. After you read, ask him to help you find ways to use what you read in your daily life.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, thank you for giving us your Holy Spirit to help us understand your Word. Give us the wisdom to understand Scripture and use it in our daily lives. Amen.

Praise God!

http://bible.us/r/6u.G

Today I am reading day 16 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

Praise God!

Psalm 135:3 Praise the Lord, because he is good; sing praises to his name, because he is kind.

• Can you think of a time when someone praised you? For what reasons might you praise other people?
• How do you praise God?

We know that God is good. All we need to do is look around to see that. But it’s not enough for us to say, “God is good,” and leave it at that. We need to do something about it. We need to respond. We need to tell him how we feel about his goodness. And then we need to share our response with others.

When you go to a restaurant and the server takes good care of you, what do you do? You leave a tip to show your appreciation. If you find an awesome vacation spot, what do you do? You tell everyone you know about it and give them a chance to enjoy it too. We also need to show our appreciation to God and share God with others.

God gets a lot of bad press in our world. People blame him for the bad things that happen. They accuse him of being unloving or uncaring. We can work to change people’s perceptions. We can tell of his goodness and help people understand who he really is.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, we praise you for your goodness. You could treat us any way you choose, and you choose to love us, even though we’ve done nothing to deserve it. Guide our words as we tell others about your goodness. Amen.

Oh Goody!

http://bible.us/r/6u.F

Today I am reading day 15 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

Oh Goody!

Psalm 34:8 Find out for yourself how good the Lord is. Happy are those who find safety with him.

• What does the word good mean?
• Name five things that are good. What makes them good?

The word good is a bit vague in our language. We use it to describe everything that’s average in our lives. “How was your day today?” “Good.” “How did you sleep last night?” “Good.” “How was your peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich?” “Good.” So when we say, “God is good,” what are we really saying?

The Hebrew word that is translated “good” in this verse meant pleasant, agreeable to the senses, excellent, valuable, kind and morally correct. It was a word packed with meaning, not an empty one!

God is difficult to describe. He is certainly not average. He is perfect. He is all the goodness we can imagine — ​and even more. Nothing about God is bad, evil or impure — ​everything about God is good.

And not only is God good, but he wants what’s good for us. And there’s nothing average about that either. God’s idea of good may not mean easy or comfortable, but it will get us to where he wants us to be, which is right where we need to be.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, we praise you for your goodness. Thank you for wanting what’s good in our lives. Give us the vision to recognize the goodness of your plans. Amen.

Praise and Worship: God is good

Chorus:
God is good all the time
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
God is good all the time
Through the darkest night, His light will shine
God is good, God is good all the time

If you’re walking through the valley
And there are shadows all around
Do not fear, He will guide you
He will keep you safe and sound
‘Cause He’s promised to never leave you
Nor forsake you and His Word is true

Chorus

We were sinners – so unworthy
Still for us He chose to die
Filled us with His Holy Spirit
Now we can stand and testify
That His love is everlasting
And His mercies – they will never end

Chorus

Lord I may not understand
All the plans He left for me
My life is in your hands
And through the eyes of Him I can clearly see

Chorus

True Dependability

http://bible.us/r/6u.E

Today I am reading day 14 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

True Dependability

1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.

• Which of your friends is most dependable?
• How important is dependability in a relationship?

You may have noticed that people are not always dependable. People make mistakes. People say one thing and then do another. People forget things. People break promises. Many people try to live good lives, but no one is perfect.

But God is perfect. God never has an “off” day. His rules are perfect. He is perfectly consistent. He’s never in a bad mood. He will never say one thing and then do another.

He is faithful to his Word — ​and he’s faithful to us. He was there when we needed him yesterday. He’s there when we need him today. And he’ll be there when we need him tomorrow. We can count on him to be exactly who he says he is and to do exactly what he says he will do.

Not only is he faithful, God is also just. He will punish all injustice. He will defend his people. Sometimes it may look as though people get away with sin. Sometimes it may seem as though bad people prosper while good people suffer. But ultimately, God will administer justice.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, thank you for being faithful to us. Thank you for never making us wonder whether we can trust you. Help us show that same kind of dependability to other people. Amen.

The Approachable One

http://bible.us/r/6u.D

Today I am reading day 13 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

The Approachable One

James 4:8 Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners! Purify your hearts, you hypocrites!

• Who intimidates you? What is it about that person that you find intimidating?
• What’s the best way to make someone comfortable around you?

There’s a scene in The Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy and her friends finally get to see the Wizard, and they’re scared to death. They feel the heat from the fire shooting all around them. They hear the Wizard’s booming voice. They see his giant head in front of them. And for a moment, they’re almost too terrified to bring their requests to him.

Sometimes that’s how we approach God — ​with fear and trembling. After all, he is perfect. He is the source of all power. He knows everything about us (even the really, really bad things). We should be scared of him.

Except that we don’t need to be because God has made himself approachable. He makes himself available to us. In fact, he invites us to come near him. Because he loves us, we can have a relationship with him.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, thank you for allowing us to come into your presence. Let us never lose sight of what a privilege it is to have a relationship with you. Amen.

The All-Powerful One

http://bible.us/r/6u.C.L

Today I am reading day 12 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

The All-Powerful One

Luke 1:37 For there is nothing that God cannot do.”

• How would you define power?
• How does God show his power?

In the folktale “The Stonecutter,” a stonecutter wishes to be rich because rich men are powerful. Then he wishes to be a prince because princes are even more powerful. But the sun is more powerful than a prince, so he wishes to become the sun. He notices that the clouds have the power to block the sun’s rays, so he wishes for that instead. A raining cloud would be even more powerful, so he pours down rain, which destroys everything in sight except for a big rock. Finding that nothing could disturb the power of the rock, he wishes to be a rock. In the end, he realizes he is better off as a stonecutter. After all, nothing can chip away at the power of a rock — ​except a stonecutter.

The lesson we learn from this folktale is that people are to be content with who they are. But Christians take away an even more significant message. Who is more powerful than riches, royalty and nature? Our God. And our God has placed us in the exact time and place that we are in. He made us who we are, and he has created a plan for our lives. Christians have a great reason to be content because our power comes through God.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, you are all-powerful. Nothing can happen without your permission. Nothing can stop what you put in motion. Thank you for helping us to recognize what a powerful God we serve. Amen.

The All-Knowing One

http://bible.us/r/6u.B.L

Today I am reading day 11 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

The All-Knowing One

Romans 11:33 How great are God’s riches! How deep are his wisdom and knowledge! Who can explain his decisions? Who can understand his ways?

• What do you know now that you didn’t know one year ago?
• If you could choose one thing to know a year from now, what would it be? In other words, what would you like to learn more than anything else?

Has it ever occurred to you that nothing new ever occurs to God? He already knows everything there is to know. This is a difficult concept for us because we learn something new every day. And we could learn a million new things each day and still not know what God knows.

God knows everything from the past, everything that’s happening in the present and everything that will happen in the future. He can read every thought we have. He knows more about how we feel than we do. We may be able to fool ourselves, but we can never fool God.

The fact that God, and God alone, is all-knowing makes him the only one we should entrust with our future. He knows the destination of every possible path we could take in life. He knows which ones end well and which ones don’t.

Who else, then, should be our guide? If we ask him to, God will use his perfect knowledge to steer us in the way we should go. Able to see what we cannot, he will lead us along the paths that bring us ultimate fulfillment and joy.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, we speak this prayer out loud to you even though we don’t need to. You know our hearts. You know our thoughts. Help us understand that you know what is best for us. Amen.

Praise and Worship: You know better than I

I thought I did what’s right
I thought I had the answers
I thought I chose the surest road
But that road brought me here
So I put up a fight
And told you how to help me
Now just when I have given up
The truth is coming clear

Chorus 1:
You know better than I
You know the way
I’ve let go the need to know why
For You know better than I

If this has been a test
I cannot see the reason
But maybe knowing
I don’t know is part of getting through
I tried to do what’s best
But faith has made it easy
To see the best thing i can do
Is to put my trust in You.

Chorus 2
For, You know better than I
You know the way
I’ve let go the need to know why
For You know better than I

Coda:
I saw one cloud and thought it was a sky
I saw a bird and thought that I could follow
But it was You who taught that bird to fly
If i let You reach me
Will You teach me.
(Repeat Chorus )

For, You know better than I
You know the way
I’ve let go the need to know why
I’ll take what answers you supply
You know better than I

The Warrior King

http://bible.us/r/6u.A.L

Today I am reading day 10 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

The Warrior King

Psalm 24:8 Who is this great king?
He is the Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, victorious in battle.

• If you were in a battle, who would you want by your side? Why?
• How does God want you to respond to the evil and suffering in this world?

When we hear the words, “God is love” or “God brings peace to our hearts,” we get a sense of God’s gentle, healing nature. But if we stop there, we don’t get the whole picture of what God is like. In this psalm, David describes God as a King who is “mighty in battle.”

That’s not just a poetic description, either. The fact that God is a warrior King has very real meaning for us, his followers. If God leads the way into battle, we must be prepared to join him.

Who is the enemy? Satan is God’s enemy. So is sin. The Bible says that anything that is not for God is against him (see James 4:4). This means that he has a lot of enemies!

Our battle armor is God’s truth, righteousness and faith. We fight for God with the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). We join this King of glory by obeying his commandments and by loving others.

The battle will not be easy, but we already know the end of the story. God wins. And so will we.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, we praise you for your love and your willingness to fight for what is right. With your truth and love, prepare us for battle against the evil and suffering all around us. Amen.

Praise and Worship: Mighty Warrior


Mighty Warrior, dressed for battle
Holy Lord of all is He
Commander in chief, bring us to attention
Lead us into battle to crush the enemy

Satan has no authority in this place
he has no authority here
For this habitation
Was fashioned for the Lord’s presence
No authority here

Jesus has all authority in this place
He has all authority here
For this habitation
Was fashioned for the Lord’s presence
No authority here

The Creator

http://bible.us/r/6u.9.L

Today I am reading day 9 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

The Creator

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, when God created the universe

• What’s your favorite — ​whether it’s an animal, plant, rock formation, beach or something else — ​of all the works of creation?
• How do you feel when you think about everything God has created?

Think about what it’s like to bring an art project home from school — ​something you’ve worked hard to make, all by yourself. You’ve poured your own unique creativity and skills into designing your masterpiece.

How would you feel if you brought it home, hung it in the middle of the living room, and then watched as everyone completely ignored it? Think about it. Not one gasp of amazement. Not one “Wow, how did you do this?” Not one comment about the colors you used or the skill of your design or the amazing talent behind the work. How would you feel?

Do you suppose God feels the same way when people ignore his creation? After all, he created the world and everything in it. Every day we are surrounded by the beauty of his work and the incredible detail of his design. But how often do we mention it? How often do we even notice it?

Let’s start a habit of giving God his due. Let’s make a commitment to noticing something new, something beautiful, something incredible in creation every day and thanking him for it. Let’s see what that does for our relationship with him.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, we are in awe of your creation. Every day we see something incredible that you made. Let us never lose our sense of wonder at your creative power. Amen.

Thank you Lord for the wonderful creation you have made…

Praise and Worship: Creator King


You who made the mountains and the sea
Measured out the universe and You made me
Echoes of the voice that called worlds to be
Reach throughout the ages and now speak to me
You’re my Creator King

You who made the valleys and the skies
Displayed Your Love on far horizons and before my eyes
You who lit the stars and set the dawn in time
Called them all by name and now You whisper mine
You’re My Creator King

Who am I that You are mindful of me
Who Am I that You sent Your love on me
You’re My Creator King

You who made the darkness and the light
Sun and moon to watch the day and guard the night
The hand that stretched the heavens like a canopy
Reaches down to cover and watch over me
You’re My Creator King
You’re My Creator King
My Creator King
You’re My Creator King

Better Than a GPS

http://bible.us/r/6u.8.L

Today I am reading day 8 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

Better Than a GPS

Psalm 32:8 The Lord says, “I will teach you the way you should go; I will instruct you and advise you.

• Has God ever led you anywhere that surprised you? Explain.
• What’s the best thing to do when you don’t understand why the Lord is leading you in a certain direction?

While God gives us direction through the Bible, he is not a GPS that we can stick on the windshield. God won’t say, “In three and a half years, turn left and attend this college.” God leads us in a more subtle way, through our hearts.

God’s leading may not always make sense to us. For one thing, his choice of route may not be a straight line. He may lead us off the highway, against traffic or through a random desert. He may take us in a complete circle and bring us right back where we started. He may lead us out into the middle of the ocean and then tell us to make a U-turn.

The GPS only considers where we want to go and the shortest way to get there. God considers an infinite eternity that includes where we begin, where he wants us to go and what we need to learn along the way.

If we trust God to guide us, one day we’ll look back on our life and see just what an incredible journey it was.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, you are amazing because you know the best route for every person’s life. Guide our steps so that we go exactly where you want us to go. Amen.

Your Will Be Done

http://bible.us/r/6u.7.L

Today I am reading day 7 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

Your Will Be Done

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know.
Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.

• What do you think God wants you to do with your life?
• What happens if you ignore God’s will?

Have you ever gotten lost? Even though you really thought you knew where you were going? Would you have gotten lost if you had had good directions?

We can get lost in life if we don’t use the guidebook God has provided us with — ​the Bible. We were not designed to be “know-it-alls.” None of us were. We were designed to rely on God’s instructions and on his will.

This isn’t always simple. God’s will isn’t always obvious, but that doesn’t mean that we should put our lives on hold while we wait for him to reveal his plan for our lives. God’s Word gives us plenty to go on. The Bible tells us how to behave, how to treat others and how to live wisely. When we follow the instructions God has already given us, he will further reveal his will to us.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, thank you for caring enough about us as individuals to create a plan for each of our lives. Guide us as we strive to determine your will. Amen.

Keeping an Open Mind

http://bible.us/r/6u.6.L

Today I am reading day 6 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

Keeping an Open Mind

Proverbs 18:15 Intelligent people are always eager and ready to learn.

• Describe a time when you changed your mind about something. What made you change your mind?
• When something is new to you, how do you decide whether it’s right or true?

In order to acquire knowledge, we must be open to new ideas. If people weren’t open to new ideas, consider the following repercussions:

All movies would still be in black and white.
We would still be writing letters instead of texting.
Computers would still be the size of refrigerators.

Thankfully, many who have gone before us have been open to new ideas. In Proverbs 18, King Solomon tells us that being open to new ideas is also important in our spiritual lives.

This can be a challenge sometimes. It’s easier for us to stay in our comfort zones, to hang out with people who act, think and believe like we do. New ideas can be disruptive and uncomfortable. They challenge us to look at the world, other people and ourselves in ways we may not want to. But new ideas also stretch us and help us grow. That’s why wise believers are open to new ideas. If you want to be wise, surround yourself with God-honoring people who challenge you. Push yourself to read different kinds of books than you would normally choose. Ask God to open your eyes to new ways of thinking that give you more insight into his truth.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, thank you for creating us with the ability to learn new things. Protect us as we explore new ideas and help us recognize your truth when we find it. Amen.

 

Decisions, Decisions

http://bible.us/r/6u.5.L

Today I am reading day 5 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

Decisions, Decisions

James 1:5 But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.

• Who’s the first person you turn to when you don’t know what to do?
• How do you know when you’ve made a wrong decision?

We live in a complicated world. We will face complicated decisions. Fortunately for us, we have a resource we can use. God, the source of all wisdom, invites us to share our dilemmas with him. He makes his wisdom available to us.

In order to take full advantage of the opportunity, though, we first need to empty ourselves of our own “wisdom.” Sometimes when we ask for advice, we have already made up our minds, and we’re just looking for someone to agree with us. That might work with friends, but not with God. If we’re going to tap into his wisdom, we need to forget about what we want or what we think should happen. We need to let him guide us.

If you’re not sure how to recognize God’s voice, try talking to him from different perspectives about the situation you’re facing. Talk about the pros, the reasons you should do something. Then talk about the cons, the reasons you shouldn’t do it. Let him work in your heart and mind to help you realize which direction is best.

If you really want God’s wisdom, just ask him for it.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. Never let us forget that your help is available whenever we need it. Amen.

One Purpose

http://bible.us/r/6u.4.L

Today I am reading day 4 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

One Purpose

1 Chronicles 29:9 The people had given willingly to the Lord, and they were happy that so much had been given. King David also was extremely happy.

• Why does God want your worship?
• How can we become a more worshipful family?

If you ask someone, “What were you put on this earth to do?” chances are you’ll find out what that person likes to do: “I was put on this earth to play soccer.” Or you might find out what that person feels responsible to do: “I was put on this earth to take care of my family.” But neither answer is correct. As human beings, we were created for one purpose: to give glory to God.

That means worship — ​and that’s what God wants from us more than anything. The Israelites discovered how important worship is to God. When King David announced that he was building a temple where the people could worship God, the Israelites leapt at the chance to be a part of it. They gave the best of everything they had to use in the construction. They devoted themselves to worship. As a result, God blessed their nation with peace, wealth and respect among the other nations of the world.

God is pleased by our worship and blesses us. Receiving his blessing gives us cause to worship him more, which gives him reason to bless us more. It’s a beautiful cycle!

My Prayer to God
Dear God, we worship you for your love and goodness. Thank you for taking care of your people in the past, for taking care of us today and for taking care of us in the future. Amen.

Transformers

http://bible.us/r/6u.3.L

Today I am reading day 3 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

Transformers

Romans 12:1-2 So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer.
2 Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.

• Share a time when someone knew you were a believer without having been told. What gave you away?
• Share a time when you knew someone was a believer without having been told by that person. How did you know?

How much can we learn about people by observing them? If we followed someone around for a day, we would quickly learn what food that person likes to eat, what music they listen to and what makes them laugh. We would be able to see what that person read, who their friends were and how they spent money. Before long, we would be able to give a full report on our subject.

What if someone followed you around for a day? What might they learn about you? What would your daily choices say about you? How long would it take your observer to figure out that you’re a Christian?

There’s an old expression that says, “If you were on trial for being a follower of Christ, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” What would you say to that? Is there evidence in your life that you have been transformed?

My Prayer to God
Dear God, thank you for changing our lives completely. Let us remember that we are always being watched by people who want to know what it means to be transformed by you. Amen.

Devoted — ​Wholeheartedly

http://bible.us/r/6u.2.L

Today I am reading day 2 of NIV Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional:

Devoted — ​Wholeheartedly

1 Chronicles 28:9 And to Solomon he said, “My son, I charge you to acknowledge your father’s God and to serve him with an undivided heart and a willing mind. He knows all our thoughts and desires. If you go to him, he will accept you; but if you turn away from him, he will abandon you forever.

• What are some things that people are devoted to?
• What gets in the way of devotion to God?

Devotion is the word we use to describe participating in a short Bible study and discussion, like the one we’re having now. But the word devotion also refers to the attitude that drives us to seek God.

To be devoted means to be dedicated. And in this verse, David is telling his son Solomon to wholeheartedly dedicate himself to God. King David knew that people can’t halfheartedly serve God.

When we do serve God with wholehearted devotion, God will reward us. When we make him the focus of our lives, he will bless us. That’s his promise. The more devoted we become, the more he blesses us.

To devote our life to God means that we live completely for him. It means that we live our life to please and honor him. We seek him, worship him and love him — ​with our whole heart.

My Prayer to God
Dear God, you are the only one who deserves our wholehearted devotion. Help us clear the obstacles in our lives that keep us from being wholeheartedly devoted to you. Amen.

 

My journey with Christ

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