Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Jesus, as I draw near to You in reading Your Word and in lifting my voice to You this day there is a renewal in my spirit. I recognize that my joy and satisfaction will not be determined by the events of this day, but by the state of my heart. When human love is fleeting and disappointments arise help me to look beyond my present circumstance. As the Psalmist wrote, “Earth has nothing I desire besides You”, I also look to You for ongoing fulfillment to meet my every longing. Thank you that Your joy does not last for a season, but for a lifetime on earth and an eternity in heaven. Amen.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Father, I thank you for the “Daniels” of our day. Many of us grew up with fathers and mothers who not only taught us right from wrong, but modeled it daily in their relations with family and others. So many today are growing up without Biblical models or Scriptural instruction which has brought about much confusion about what is right and wrong, true or false. The power of Your inspired Holy Word reveals absolute truth and is taught by examples of people such as Daniel. He didn’t allow fear, pride, or earthly ambitions to compromise his integrity. Even as Daniel stood the test while continually overcoming the tempter, I pray that You, Father, would help us to prove our loyalty to You when faced with daily temptations, especially the temptation to just go with the flow rather than to go with the guidance of Scripture. May our resolve to do good greatly lessen our temptation to do evil. Amen.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

Father, we thank You that You are our guide; that our footsteps are ordered by You. Though we stumble or fall, we are not cast down for You uphold us with Your righteous right hand. In ourselves we may be clumsy, weak, or nearsighted, but following You, our Great Shepherd through dangers, toils and snares to the high places of Your love, we will be like that of hind’s feet in high places. When we unexpectedly find ourselves in a fallen position we feel pretty foolish and somewhat helpless though usually we bounce right back to an upward position. But there are times, Lord, when we get trapped in a fallen position and especially need Your help and even assistance from others to help us walk upright again. When we’re in a fallen position spiritually, Lord, it is Your hand that we reach for. You do not abandon us nor cast us down for You only want to lift us up again. Our hope is in You alone so help us to cling tightly to Your hand as we walk the potholed terrain of this life. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Father, like a farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains we too wait for the yield of good fruit that will be produced by our labor in Christ. As we extend ourselves to others we not only seek to be a blessing to them but we also honor Your name. Sometimes the results of our labors can be lost in the long wait. When that happens we’re brought back to the Scriptural reality that nothing we do for Christ is in vain. It all counts and is credited to our account in the economy of God’s kingdom. We look not for the applause of others, but for the affirmation of the Holy Spirit whom we seek to please in all we do. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.

Father, we count among our rich blessings the bounty of Your handiwork – whether it’s that which we can observe only at a distance or that which we can examine closely, touch with our hands, smell or taste. A visit to a zoo reminds us of the variety in Your creative handiwork. You are a benevolent Father, giving us so much to enjoy. Creation declares Your glory causing us to delight in Your creativity, in all its bountiful and varied displays. We give You thanks for it all. Amen.

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