Each morning (Monday – Saturday) we’ll post a new Scripture reading, paired with a few paragraphs written by one of the leaders at Harbor to help you reflect on the verses and focus on a specific teaching from the Bible. They’ll take just a couple of minutes to read (and are best paired with prayer!), providing a perfect way to start your day with your focus on God.
Daily Directional: 4.2.20
Written by: Kimberly Rockness
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
We don’t like the feeling of being weak. Fitness and nutrition articles remind us how we must be diligent in diet and exercise to maintain and increase physical health and strength. We know we need to get proper rest to have the needed energy and stamina to face our day. We look to the experts to discover how we can be our best selves, to be mentally and emotionally strong so that we are equipped to handle life and relationships. And yet situations arise continually that remind us that we are, in fact, weak. When faced with a task we feel inadequate to tackle, when circumstances arise beyond our control, when we encounter problems we cannot seem to fix, when swelling emotions seem beyond our control – we are confronted repeatedly with our weakness.
God’s ways are most often counter to our natural tendencies. He says we should delight in our weakness! Why? Because it is then that we are strong! This doesn’t seem to make sense on the surface does it? However, it is in our weakness that we experience God’s power working in and through us. It is our weakness that drives us to stop depending on our frail and unreliable human strength and start drawing from God’s unending supply of supernatural strength. The power of Christ is always available to those who believe and put their trust in Him. Just how powerful is this power? It is “the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:19)! Why do we still try to depend on our own strength when the strength that has the power to raise Christ from the dead is available to us?
We can be encouraged that not only is this power available to us but that the Lord wants to give it to us! We are told in 2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” I love this image of God actually actively searching the earth for those who have given their hearts completely to Him just so he can strengthen them. God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. He doesn’t need to search for anything as if anything is hidden from Him. But this verse pictures for us our loving heavenly Father who longs to grant us His strength in place of our weakness.
When you feel weak or ill equipped to handle whatever you are facing, don’t just try to muster up some strength within yourself. Talk to God. Tell Him you feel weak and ask Him for His strength. Then trust Him to supply it even when you don’t feel strong. Trust His Word more than your feelings. He longs to strengthen you. He promises to strengthen you. He is strengthening you even when you feel weak. He will always do what He promises. You can count on it.
“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”
Daily Directional: 4.1.20
Written by: Kaleigh Adams
There is a lot of backstory to these verses (you can find the full story in chapters 15-21 of Genesis), but I wanted to focus on a brief series of verses within the story. Hagar was the servant of Sarah and Abraham, who were used by God to start the nation of Israel. Before Sarah and Abraham were given their promised son Isaac, however, Hagar became a pawn in their ill-advised plot to bring about God’s blessing their way. Hagar found herself pregnant by Abraham, and severely mistreated by Sarah as a result. These verses pick up after Hagar has run away to avoid more mistreatment, and is now alone in the wilderness:
The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied.
The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.” And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the Lord has heard your cry of distress…
…Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?”
Hagar had no friends, no family, and no home. The only stability she had came from Abraham and Sarah, who were now mistreating her. She ran away to the wilderness, and was then completely and totally alone. Many of us are now experiencing something similar: a profound sense of isolation, a disruption of our stabilizing routines. Many are celebrating milestones (birthdays, births, and even weddings!) away from the people they hoped to share those moments with. Many are also mourning alone, working through difficult moments away from communities they relied on.
In this passage our attention is drawn to two things: God HEARS and God SEES. Even at our most alone, God hears us and He sees us. He knows our hearts: our joys, our fears, our doubts and our sorrows. Hagar believed that she was alone, abandoned, and unnoticed. But after her encounter with God, she referred to Him always as “The God who sees me.” She took comfort and confidence from the knowledge that she was known and noticed by God himself.
As you are going through your day, remember that our God is the God who sees and the God who hears; and that even when at your most alone, fearful, or insecure, you are known and loved by Him.
Daily Directional: 3.31.20
Written by: Katie Rose Ritchie
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen and heard this verse so many times that I have a habit of passing right by it. But this one sentence could (and should) change our entire lives: the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Think about it for just a second – no really, think about it. The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. Another translation says it this way: the Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need. If I were to live each day in a way that reflected an all in, sold out, whole hearted belief in the fact that God is guiding me and I will never want for anything…I’d say things would look a bit different.
Now, to be clear, this passage is not saying that we will get everything we want. But God will provide us with everything we need, and we will not be left wanting. Usually when I hear about God’s provision, my mind goes toward the practical – finances, food, shelter, safety. But it is also true that God provides for us spiritually and emotionally – meaning that with God as our shepherd we will not be left without love or acceptance, purpose or meaning, compassion or understanding. Turns out we humans are a needy bunch. Thankfully we have a God who is for us – so “for us” that He didn’t even hold back His only Son.
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” (Romans 8:31-32)
For someone who believes that God is for me, I sure do spend a lot of time being for myself, as if He doesn’t have it covered. But the Lord is my shepherd. I have all that I need. Who or what could possibly threaten that?
Today, let’s choose to keep Psalm 23:1 at the forefront of our minds, and choose to live in a way that reflects faith in a God who provides for our every need. I don’t mean just nodding in agreement right now as you’re reading and then forgetting about it in five minutes. What if you tried a practical solution – when faced with a situation that brings about fear, pride, discomfort, or temptation, say those nine words in your mind. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
When that bill comes in the mail – the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. When that person isn’t showing you the love you crave – the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. When you are faced with that diagnosis – the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. When you feel alone and overwhelmed – the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
Then think of all the other people out there right now, reading these same words.
The Lord is our shepherd. We have all that we need.
Daily Directional: 3.30.20
Just One Touch
Written by: Pastor Josh Adams
“A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition. Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.””
The woman in this story didn’t ask Jesus for a prayer or a blessing. She didn’t need to take any of His time or attention. She didn’t need a long begging intercession from this visiting Rabbi. She didn’t need to own his robe or even put it on. She didn’t need hours and hours of treatment, consultations, or interactions with Jesus.
All she needed was one moment where she reached out to Jesus in faith and believed that He could heal her.
Your spiritual restoration is a simple act of faith away. You don’t need a long drawn out wordy prayer. You don’t need to buy a special coat, book, or blessing. You only need the power of Jesus. Forgiveness, spiritual healing, happens in an instant, the moment you trust Christ with your life and eternity.
If you’ve already experienced this forgiveness, then your job is to be the robe.
This world is filled with people that are broken and feel ashamed. They already have been let down and disappointed by so many false “saviors” their skepticism and/or insecurities are going to keep them from getting as close to Jesus as they may want. HOWEVER… you’ve been touched by Jesus. And the Bible says that those of us that know Christ, have the Holy Spirit living inside of us.
You may just be the thing that person needs most. You’re now a conduit of Jesus’ love for them. Don’t get me wrong, you and I can’t take away anyone’s sins or offer them salvation. But as Christ’s followers, we are His lifeline to save others. So stay close to Jesus…close like a coat in winter time. So close that when someone reaches out to you, they reach out to Jesus by extension. Maybe even now there is someone in the crowd, just waiting to be healed.
Daily Directional: 3.28.20
Written by: Angela Hansen
“Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
Remembering is a big theme throughout the Bible. All through the Old Testament, God repeatedly tells the Israelites to remember; remember God and remember what the Lord has done. But oh, how quickly they forget. God brings them out of Egypt, out of slavery, parts the Red Sea, does all kinds of miraculous things, and then they find themselves in the desert, forgetting all these things and wishing they were back in slavery. They forget the God who is taking care of them. But he does not forget them. God always remembers the promises he makes to us.
There are several different things that those in the bible do in order to remember God’s faithfulness. Building monuments was one way. Pastor Josh did a whole sermon series last year on this; the monumental things God has done in our life and remembering those events. The Israelites would set up monuments, sometimes piles of rocks, to remind themselves of God’s faithfulness (Joshua 4:1-24).
Writing was another important tool used in the bible to remember. David, in the book of Psalms, writes about the times God rescued him, blessed him, heard his cry, and was faithful to him. Speaking is also used to remember. In Deuteronomy, Moses tells the Israelites to talk with their children about the miraculous things God did; and in Revelation, it says that we will overcome Satan by Jesus’ blood and by speaking out loud the memory of God’s faithfulness in our own lives (Revelation 12:11). Food, festivals and celebrations are also things that God uses to help us remember. Festivals in the Old Testament reminded the Israelites of God and his faithfulness, the Lord’s Supper in the New Testament reminds us of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
Why did God make remembering such a big deal? Because he knew that when we started to forget Him, His faithfulness, the things He has done in our life, that would be when the fear and worry would take over, when we would trust ourselves, and try in vain to control our situation. We would lose our joy and peace that comes only from Him. Thankfully, for those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior, we have something that can help us remember; the Holy Spirit. It is literally one of his jobs to help us remember. “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26).
We have the Holy Spirit to help us remember and we have several ideas from the bible on how to remember (monuments, writing, food, speaking it); so, today remember. Especially in a time of uncertainty, remember God’s faithfulness to you. And then do something to remind yourself of that memory; talk about it with your family, create art (monument), eat a meal in celebration, journal about it. Remember God’s faithfulness because He is always faithful and His faithfulness in the past is an example and a promise for his faithfulness in the future.
Daily Directional: 3.27.20
Written by: John Petty
9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
This is most likely a familiar passage to you; the very words God spoke to Joshua before he was to lead the people across the Jordan river on their journey to the land God had promised to give them. God uses the phrase “be strong and courageous” to both encourage Joshua and remind him of where the strength for the victory will come from. In fact, this is the third time God reminds Joshua of this in this very passage. Joshua now has the task of standing before all the nation and leading them to trust God in very uncertain times. He immediately obeys the call and encourages the people of God with this same approach. He moves ahead and encourages them to remember the promises God made to them and to charge ahead. The subsequent victories and achievements stand as a testimony to the fulfilment of those promises. These fulfilled promises have been recorded in God’s word and generations have been able to reflect upon them in times of uncertainty.
It is important to note that today we have the privilege of reading these passages from the vantage point of history. In other words, we already know the outcome. God did exactly what He said He would. His promises were fulfilled, and all His words came to pass. Why is this important? I am glad you asked. It is important because here, and throughout the entirety of Scripture, we have countless historical records of the same exact thing. All of God’s words and promises are true. They do not change as they are not subject to humanity and our limits. Basically, we can always trust Him. The only difference in our specific circumstance is the vantage point from which we view it. In other words, we do not know the specifics of the eventual outcome. However, neither God or His promises have changed. We can still fully trust them both.
Let us remind ourselves (and each other) that in uncertain times and circumstances we have these certain promises. As you can see in the passage the consistent reflecting on these promises are the key to our confidence. God thought it important to keep reminding Joshua (even though he was already aware) that He would be with him. Therefore, we would be wise to do the same for each other. Proverbs 12:25 reminds us that “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up”. Now is the time to remind each other of the certainties and promises we have in God’s word. Take some time today and seek out one or two of God’s promises to us. Write them down, memorize them, send them to a friend. Let us work together to promote the true narrative of God’s promises to those He has called according to His purposes. Of course, we don’t know the future, but we can always trust in an unchanging God who does.
Daily Directional: 3.26.20
Written by: Kimberly Rockness
Psalm 112:1, 7-8
“Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His commands. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.”
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.”
In this passage we are presented with two types of fear – one that is desirable and one that is undesirable. We are promised that we can live a life without fear, in fact, God commands us not to fear (Isaiah 41:10). The only exception is that we are to fear the Lord. That is a phrase that doesn’t make much sense to the modern mind, but here we are told a little bit about what fearing the Lord means practically – one who finds great delight in God’s commands. As people who like to do what we want to do and when we want to do it (and most often have the freedom to do so), we don’t usually think of commands as something that we would even remotely like, much less find great delight in. And yet, God says if we delight in His commands, we are blessed. In fact, here we see that one of God’s blessings is being able to have a heart that is steadfast, secure – at peace.
Psalm 112:7 sheds light on how we can get to the place where we find “great delight” in God’s commands – by trusting in the Lord. That phrase is thrown around a lot, but if we are to actually do it, it will require a conscious choice on our part. If we really and truly trust the Lord, no matter what is going on around us, no matter what bad news we may receive – we do not need to fear. Note that it does not say that we won’t receive bad news – just that we won’t fear it. It is only if we are so fixed on the truth of what God says, more than on any bad news we may receive, that it is possible for our hearts to remain securely grounded in peace.
If you have ever tried to encourage a child to jump off the side of a pool into your arms you know that you soon find out if that child really trusts you to catch them. If they refuse to jump or are protesting in fear despite your cajoling, it is because they are fixated on the perceived danger – the water. In that moment they believe you won’t really catch them and that they will drown. As one who loves this child, you know you would never let this happen and that their fears are unfounded. “Don’t you trust me?” you may ask. “Oh yes, I trust you,” comes the reply. However, once you have done all you can to convince the child to jump, if they persist in focusing on their fear of the water, have they demonstrated that they trust you? Is the fact that the child said that they trust you evidence enough that they do indeed trust you? The only way they demonstrate their trust is by focusing on you and on the fact that you love them enough to remain true to your word. Ultimately, they don’t demonstrate their trust just by saying they trust you, but by obeying your command – Jump!
How do we, who are hearing so much bad news these days, get to the place where we can be free of fear and confidently trust the Lord to care for us no matter what hardship we may have to endure? The psalmist tells us we need a steadfast heart. Steadfast means firm, unwavering, determined. Let’s determine to spend more time fixing our minds firmly on the truth of God’s Word that we may possess an unwavering faith and trust in the God who desires to grant our hearts peace in the midst of any circumstance. Through Jesus, it is possible for us to be overwhelmingly victorious and triumph over the foe of fear! (Romans 8:37)
Daily Directional: 3.25.20
Written by: Kristen Lambrich
17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!“
If you’re like me and read through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount you feel dejected…because what Jesus lists out for us is honestly impossible. You haven’t murdered, but you’ve been angry with someone (Jesus says those are the same). Maybe you’ve sworn to do something and failed to followthrough, maybe you’ve hated your enemy, maybe you’re divorced, or you’ve been selfish towards the poor, or hypocritically prayed to God, or put your faith in finances, or judged your neighbor, or given up hope in God altogether, or looked out only for yourself…even just one time.
Which brings me to this ball of yarn I’m working on. Or at least it WAS a ball of yarn until my lovely nephew got ahold of it – now it’s a total mess. I’m about 5 hours into attempting to untangle it, and to be honest it looks about the same as when I started. Isn’t that just like all of us, staring at our mess and trying to untangle all the bad things bit by bit only to make a fraction of a dent? And what if that dent is still not enough? It’s easy to start feeling immensely anxious at this thought, until you remember the completion of Jesus’ ministry here on earth: “It is finished!” John 19:30
Through his work on the cross every bit of my mess was paid for. His life for mine, not in part but ENTIRELY. He hasn’t merely helped fix up my mess…He has given me an entirely new life (or a whole ball of fresh yarn so to speak) to point to at the end of all of this. I’ve chosen to put my faith in the work of Christ and NOT myself! Finally, a true hope without fear.
It’s been settled that when I come face to face with God I don’t have to present myself perfectly, but rather present the perfect Jesus in my place. So why bother untangling that messy yarn now?Because eventually this tangle will be a baby blanket. Or a scarf. Or a pair of socks (I really haven’t decided). My point being…my mess is worth untangling because of what it can be: something beautiful.
So while we have this time to reflect, and change, and dig through ourselves let’s remember the One who stands in the gap of our sin, and “let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9
Daily Directional: 3.24.20
Written by: John Rockness
“He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given.”
This verse illustrates God’s great compassion for the poor in that He clearly states His indebtedness to those who minister personally to the poor in His name. To the believer who willingly extends his or her resources to those in need, God Himself has promised to pay back what is given. When God pays back it is more often than not in greater proportion to what was given. He delights in “opening the windows of heaven” as a blessing to those who would serve Him.
Who are the poor we are to serve? They may not just be the financially poor. God could direct you to minister to the one who is poor in health. It could be someone who is poor in spirit, downcast or suffering through an emotional need. It could be a lost soul who is spiritually destitute. Someone who needs to hear the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. Taking pity on the poor is more than giving money to someone who has a financial need. It is meeting whatever need the person God puts in your path may have. It could be as simple as just being a friend to someone who has none.
We currently find ourselves living in an interesting and concerning time. We, as children of the Almighty and Loving God of the Universe have a unique opportunity to reach out to those uncertain about their future. In giving our time, money and efforts to the ones around us who are desperate, we become an extension of God’s great love for them.
When we do this, not only does it divert our focus away from our own fears and anxieties but it creates the opportunity for us to grow in faith and for God to meet our own needs in abundance.
The needs are many. What will you do?
Daily Directional: 3.23.20
Written by: Kaleigh Adams
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”
1 Timothy 6:17
“Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.“
Jeremiah tells us that those who have put their hope and confidence in the Lord are blessed, it says they are like trees that never stop producing fruit, even during long periods of drought. An earlier post talked about the fruits of the spirit, which are characteristics that God promises to those who follow Him (Galatians 5:22-23). One of the fruits of the spirit is JOY!
Times of crisis or struggle have a way of exposing what it is we are actually putting our hope in. A pastor I know used to say “Tell me what you’re most afraid to lose, and I’ll tell you where your hope is.” What’s happening in our world right now is robbing a lot of people of their joy, because it is attacking the very things that so many of us put our hope and confidence in: our wealth, our job security, our social lives, our routines, and even our health. But when we instead choose to put our confidence in God— trusting that He is good even in bad circumstances, and that He will give us joy even through the darkest moments, we put our hope in something that can never be taken from us.
The Bible tells us that we can “rejoice in our confident hope”, and that God “richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.” There is no promise that life will always go the way we planned, and there is no promise that there will be no pain and no struggle. The promise is that God will faithfully supply the strength we need to have joy, no matter what happens to us.
In Proverbs, it describes a wise woman who “laughs without fear of the future.” (Proverbs 31:25). Imagine what it would be like to be able to experience the kind of joy that produces laughter, even in the face of an uncertain or frightening future! This is the level of confidence that God has promised us, if we will put our confidence and hope in Him.
Daily Directional: 3.21.20
Written by: Katie Rose Ritchie
1 Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. 2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains. 3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! 8 Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. 9 He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.
Something I often fail to remember is that God is not wasteful. Times that we see as passive waiting periods are often the times when God is doing His most incredible work in ways that we can’t or don’t see.
We see examples of this in life nearly every day. While we’re waiting for a flower to poke up from the soil, there are beautiful, essential stages of growth happening just under the surface. When we spend 6-8 “unproductive” hours sleeping each night, our bodies are resetting, rejuvenating, and healing. Or when we are in the midst of the most painful, difficult seasons of life, we end up learning the very things that God will use to guide us toward carrying someone else through their trials.
We see this in the Bible all the time, as well. Saul (soon to be Paul) spends three days in utter blindness, not only to have his vision restored by God, but to come out an entirely new man. Jonah spends three days in the belly of a fish, where he learns that following God is not the same as getting what we want (but it turns out to be much better). And best of all, Jesus spends 3 days in a dark tomb, only to emerge as our Savior, promising new life to any and all who will accept it.
If we see, then, that God does not waste time, it begs the question: how is He using this time in your life?
Maybe getting into this Daily Directional is your first step toward building a lifelong habit of beginning each day with God. Maybe this unexpected time with family is your opportunity to finally have that hard conversation, or show love to that person you’ve been neglecting. Maybe right this second you find yourself in utter darkness, only to realize that God is there with you, walking you patiently toward a light you can’t yet see.
Or maybe the answer is simply this: God is giving us all a chance to trust Him. Perhaps for the very first time, or maybe in a brand new way. To trust that He is in control of things on a global scale, and to trust that He will not waste our time if we will only let Him use it.
Daily Directional: 3.20.20
Written by: Pastor Josh Adams
As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
What Lies Beneath
It’s hard to believe that some people could act the way you see depicted on the television. What’s beneath the surface of the people that one morning are smiling and waving politely, and the following morning they are hoarding boxes of ramen and leaving angry comments on the internet?
Perhaps just beneath the surface of the calm and collected facade lies a person racked with anxiety, greed, and fear?It may just be that your neighbor, the person on television, or the one in your bathroom mirror all suffer from a low grade, unending, uncertainty.
When the rich man in Mark 10 asks Jesus for direction, Jesus tells him to sell his belongings, give everything to those more in need, and follow Christ. The rich man leaves sad at this news, not empowered. Why? What was so depressing in Jesus’ description of self-sacrifice? Jesus was exposing a hidden idol in the rich man’s heart. While on the exterior, his typical daily behavior would have led his friends and neighbors to believe he was a good, and even “religious” guy, when faced with the reality of Jesus and the call to love others the rich man showed what was truly in his heart.
For those who follow Christ, our true character should be one of love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness. (Fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5) What a testimony it would be for the chaos of the day to bring to the surface an attitude of care and compassion instead of greed and self-preservation.
Daily Directional: 3.19.20
Written by: Angela Hansen
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (NLT)
“Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]” (AMP)
Fix your thoughts on what is true.
We live in an unsure world, even before the uncertainty of the coronavirus, our world was facing a pandemic of anxiety. So, what to do to fight the fear that plagues our world today? Think about what is true.
Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, addressed their struggle with anxiety, giving them godly help with a real-life issue they were facing. These are practical steps we can take to fight anxiety. First, in Philippians 4:6-7 it says, we should pray about everything, sharing our worries and requests with the Lord, and thanking him for what he’s already done in our lives. Paul promises if we do these things that an incomprehensible amount of peace will fill us.
But let’s focus on verse 8, it gives us another practical thing we can do to fight anxiety. Shift our thoughts from the fear and worry, the what if’s and uncertainty, to the TRUTH. Think about things that you know are true, things about God from his word. Think about things that are pure and lovely, that fill your heart with peace and joy. The amplified version of the bible says, “…think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].”
Today when you’re overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the things in this world, shift your thoughts to the truth found in God’s word. Think about the things that bring you joy. Center your mind and heart on the truth that God is in control, and we are not alone. Take it one step further and talk about, with your family and friends, the true, pure, lovely things you are thinking.
Daily Directional: 3.18.20
Written by: John Petty
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.
The setting of this story in the Old Testament is right after God lead the Israelites out of slavery. They encounter some difficulty, and immediately begin to complain against their leaders, which translates as an attack against God. Their memories of the previous hopeless state they were in become clouded by the current battles they were fighting.
Here in this passage we see a repeated theme throughout Scripture. God will supply all our needs according the riches of His Glory. He is in charge, and He cares for His own. We need not doubt His provision; However, it is imperative that we do not lose sight of God’s desire for us to stay focused on the day. As Billy Graham used to say, “Do not be afraid of the future, God is already there”. In this current time of apparent chaos, let us remind each other to stay focused on pleasing God in the day, and trust in Him for all our provision. He is the one that lead us out of the darkness of our sin. He is still on the throne and He still has a plan to glorify Himself through those He has called out.