March 24 – Isaiah 41:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

In Isaiah 41:10, God gives to us five great promises to help us in our journey. God’s promises that are seen in Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for…, 1) I am with you; do not be dismayed; 2) for I am your God; 3) I will strengthen you; 4) I will help you; 5) I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” God’s promises are only effective in our lives when we believe them and act upon them. The road ahead is unknown, but if we know God and His promises, we will successfully navigate the road ahead of us. Take a moment and write down each of the promises listed above. Reflect upon them. Then pray and petition God to show you how these promises are uniquely for YOU!

March 23 – Psalm 37:23-24

“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with His hand.”

Psalm 37: 23-24

The life of a believer is an active one; stepping out of the boat, walking through prison walls, marching around fortresses, running the race with endurance. From the time we wake and until we fall asleep, every moment is an opportunity to live out God’s calling on our life confidently. Why do we have this assurance? Because He promises to make firm our steps as we delight in Him. We don’t need to worry or have doubts about where we are headed because we are following the calling of God on our lives.

Of course, being obedient to God’s call on our lives is not all sunshine and rainbows. He does not promise us an easy, care -free life. Rather, His promise is that when we stumble (as all humans do), we will not fall. With that worry off your shoulders, what is something God has called you to do that you have avoided because you fear failure? Take a moment and really answer that question for yourself. Is it talking to someone about Christ? Is it giving financially? Is it spending time praying with your phone turned off?

We follow a good and kind Father who is about our best interests. Just like a parent to a child, God has a keen investment in our journey, be in the day to day walk or the thick of battle. If we focus and delight in Him, He is faithful to be with us and help us when we make mistakes.

March 22 – Hebrews 6:10

“God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.”

Hebrews 6:10

In the first eight verses of this chapter, the writer of Hebrews was giving a strong warning to the readers about the consequences of an immature doctrine. The writer knew that their spiritual struggles were not out of defiance or rebellion, but truly they were from the believers being discouraged! He accompanied his serious warning with words of encouragement.

Have you ever had this type of feeling in your spiritual walk with God? This feeling of a ‘piling on’ which caused mistakes, which caused confusion, which lead to feeling far from God? And it begins to feel as though God will forget any acts of service that you ever did for Him and His people. But that is not how our gracious God operates. God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love. Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross opened the floodgates of grace, covering sin, and removing shame.

For this reason, we press on. We get back in the game. We take up our disciplines again. We repent when we’ve sinned. And when we have the opportunity to serve Him, we give Him the glory. Today, lean into and thank God for grace and forgiveness, for new beginnings. What is in area of your life where Jesus does not have the priority that He deserves?

March 21 – Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanks- giving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4: 6-7

Imagine just hearing this: “Do not be anxious about anything”. I think we would have an onslaught of opposition to that proposal. 1) How can you tell me what to be anxious about? 2) What do you expect me to do? 3) There’s not much I can do about it. 4) Do you have any idea what’s going on in my life right now? That’s just a few of the knee jerk reactions I imagine most of us would share. That being said, here we find Paul writing to the church in Philippi with that God breathed directive.

Thankfully, Scripture doesn’t just state “Do not be anxious about anything”. There is a key transition word. BUT. Whenever we see a ‘but’ in the Bible it’s time to pay close attention to what comes next. “BUT in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”.

Paul is writing to give an alternative to sitting in our anxiousness. Rather than sitting in our anxiousness, which cannot change our situation, we can bring anything and everything before God.

When we do that, we have a promise that is a treasure. PEACE. How does that work? Well, we know it’s beyond our understanding to describe, but those who have dared to lay their requests fully before the Lord with gratitude in their heart know the peace He offers. It doesn’t make sense. The situation doesn’t always change. But we find our hearts and minds guarded by the peace of Christ.

Life can make the best of us anxious. But we have a choice: to sit in our anxiousness or boldly and humbly bring all parts of our life to the Lord. What anxieties do you need to give over to God today?

March 20 – Prayer

God calls us to take part in His transforming work and promises that we will be transformed in the process. As a praying church, we believe the Gospel changes our lives. Spend some time today in prayer and use the following as a guide.

Praise God for who He is: Prayers of praise are focused entirely on God. It is our expression of adoration for all that God is – His holiness, greatness, love, and majesty (Exodus 15:2). Take a few minutes to focus on God and praise Him for who He is. Make a list.

Thanksgiving for what He has done: Prayers of thanksgiving acknowledge what God has done and is doing in our lives, homes, job, community, bodies, and the church (1 Corinthians 1:4). Spend some time thanking God for what He has done in your life.

Confession of our sins: An awareness of God’s presence reveals our own unworthiness. In confession we acknowledge our sin and ask God for forgiveness (James 5:16). Take a few minutes to confess your sin to God.

Ask (Life, Community, Campus, Church): Prayers of petition include asking God specific things for our lives, our community, our campuses, and the local and global church (2 Timothy 1:7). Take a few minutes to pray for a specific person, business, or group and ask God for a way you can encourage them today.

March 19 – Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3: 5-6

I remember when I graduated from Urbana high school back in 1978 (go Tigers!), I had a graduation party. All my family and friends came. I remember getting a card which read: “This verse will guide you throughout your life. It has guided me, and never let me down. Proverbs 3:5-6.”

Do you remember back when we used folding paper maps? My job on our family vacations was to sit in the front middle seat, hold the roadmap, and try to find where we were, where we were going, and most important, where the next McDonald’s was. I think if we had a roadmap for our life, Proverbs 3:5-6 would be it. How are we going to reach our goals? How will we find victory through every circumstance? How will we be able to keep the faith all the way to our last breath?

Check out this roadmap for life.

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart.” There are a lot of things we can trust in, but most of them will fade away, rust, get stolen, become lost, leave us, or lose their value in time. But the Lord will never do that. It is no wonder the Bible calls Him the immovable rock, our Fortress and our Shield.

“Lean not on your own understanding.”
As a high school student, there were a lot of things I couldn’t figure out. The one thing I could never understand was algebra. It just didn’t make sense to me. I think when we try to figure out life, to make it seem logical, we end up with a big zero! When we lean on our own minds and our own calculations, we come up short. Life can feel a lot like algebra.

“In all of your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
What’s our answer to all the terrible problems of life? Submitting our lives, our hopes, our minds, to the Lord. I’ll just submit it to the Lord and trust that He can figure it out. Proverbs 3:5-6 is a promise that still guides us today, like it has for so many. Happy trails!

March 18 – Psalms 32:8

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.”

Psalm 32:8

Imagine the apostles as they watched Jesus ascend up into Heaven. They were probably scared out of their minds, hopeless, anxious, wondering what their future would hold. They weren’t exactly sure what to do, so they prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more. Then God sent His spirit to them to comfort them and lead them. From then on, we see the Holy Spirit leading the Apostles and giving them the strength and confidence to start the early church. In John 16, before Jesus goes to the cross, He told His disciples that He was sending His spirit to guide us into all truth. This is the promise in Psalm 32:8. God will not only be with us, but He will instruct us and teach us in the way we should go. We don’t have to fear our future. When we are open to being lead, God will lead us through His spirit.

March 17 – James 1:5

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

James 1:5

God knows that we are weak and frail, and He knows that the testing of our faith can cause us to complain or murmur or to become unsteady in our Christian walk. However, God provides us with all the wisdom we need to maintain a steady heart, patient endurance, and an unwavering, uncompromised faith in Him. God delights to give generously to all who ask – but we must be prepared to ask Him, to listen to His voice, and to obey His Word. What brave conversation(s) are you needing to have with God? Find a quiet private place – Be BRAVE – and talk with your Father. He’s waiting!

March 16 – Exodus 14:14

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Exodus 14:14

You ever had this thought? “I can do this on my own, I don’t need anyone else.” Sometimes the idea of surrender can feel like you are giving up or giving in. Think about it this way; it’s giving over. When we are going through difficult moments or when we’re not sure of an outcome; instead of trying to do things on our own we need to surrender it to Jesus, meaning give it over to Him and let Him fight for us. What in your life do you need to surrender to Him? Meaning, giving it over to Him. Instead of worrying or developing anxiety, give it over to Him and allow Him to fight for us.

March 15 – Ezekiel 36:26-27

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

Ezekiel 36: 26-27

What could turn a heart to stone? Sin, pain, unkept promises, broken dreams. Things that are not in God’s nature, things that came when sin entered the world, these things turn a heart to stone. A place where the Holy Spirit cannot dwell. But the new covenant, the promise that God made with those who believe in Him, offers a new heart. A renewed spirit that can feel, enjoy, change, grow, and can love God and all men. A place where the Holy Spirit can enter and transform. This new heart can go after the very nature of Jesus. This transformation leads us to obedience in becoming who God created us to be.

And all this is possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus. His sacrifice broke the chains of sin. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Today, thank Jesus for His sacrifice on the Cross making a way for a new heart in you.