When we look at our circumstances and don’t see a way to better them, we need to remember, “but God.”
When we think we don’t have the words to be an effective witness for our Lord Jesus Christ, we need to remember, “but God.”
When everything seems to be going against us, and people falsely accuse us of things, we need to remember, “but God.”
Things can look hopeless, but God has a plan, and we need to ask God to use us in His plan and then allow ourselves to be used.
Sunday, August 28, 2022
8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.
Lord, we praise your name and kneel before you, for you are our God, and we are your people. (Psalm 95:6-7) We don’t always do well when faced with opposition. Help us learn from Stephen how to react when people stand against us. Fill us with your Spirit and gift us with wisdom where we can glorify you when we speak. We pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen
Monday, August 29, 2022
11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” 12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” 15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Lord, your Spirit made us, and your breath gives us life! (Job 33:4) We see in the lesson of Stephen’s life that those who oppose you will go to any lengths to discredit your followers. We admit and confess that we sometimes shrink back from speaking Jesus because of our fear of being mocked or persecuted. We pray that you will send your Spirit to fill us and grant us the gifts that will help us stand for you. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
1 Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?” 2 To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. 3 ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’ 4 “So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. 5 He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child. 6 God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. 7 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’ 8 Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
Lord, your dominion is eternal, and your kingdom endures throughout the generations. (Daniel 4:34) Thank you for your word that shows us repeatedly that if our faith stays strong, we can stand against anything. May your Spirit strengthen our faith to speak your truths. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
9 “Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.
Lord, we rejoice forever in your creation. (Isaiah 65:18) Father, we see in the stories of the patriarchs that you give us what we need to stand firm in you. Through your Spirit, we receive the wisdom that can turn the hearts of those that oppose you. Fill us with your Spirit, Lord, today and every day. In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.
Thursday, September 1, 2022
“Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. 12 When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. 13 On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. 14 After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. 15 Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. 16 Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.
Father, we know that there is nothing that you cannot do. (Job 42:2) You alone can make a way when things seem hopeless. Help us keep our focus on you even when we don’t see the way. Our lives belong to you. In the name of your son Jesus, we pray, Amen.
Friday, September 2, 2022
17 “As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. 18 Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’ 19 He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.
Lord, you alone are the God who saves! (Psalm 68:20) Father, the story of Joseph shows us that if we don’t tell others your message, the world will try to move on without you. Only when we praise you and tell others of your greatness can we ensure that future generations will continue to call you God and King. Give us the strength we need to tell everyone about you. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
Saturday, September 3, 2022
Father, we put our hope in you! (Psalm 42:5) Thank you for another day to see your glorious world. Thank you for the opportunities you gave us this week to tell others about our Savior. Forgive us for the times we missed, and help us in the coming week to hear your Spirit so that we won’t miss any chance to witness to others. We lift up our speaker tomorrow; may they speak your truth with grace. In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.