29 OCT: THE CLEAR PICTURE

The Lord . . . sent word to them . . . again and again, because he had pity on his people. 2 Chronicles 36:15

READ JEREMIAH 18:1-12

As a young girl Jenny went with her parents to visit the great-grandmother, who lived near a farm. Great-grandmother's yard was enclosed by an electric fence, which prevented cows from grazing on her grass. When Jenny asked her parents if she could play outside, they consented, but explained that touching the fence would result in an electric shock.

Unfortunately Jenny ignored their warning, put a finger to the barbed wire, and was zapped by an electrical current strong enough to teach a cow a lesson. She then realised that her parents gave the warning because they loved her and didn’t want her to get hurt.

When God saw the ancient Israelites in Jerusalem crafting and worshiping idols, He “sent word to them . . . again and again, because he had pity on his people” (2 Chronicles 36:15). God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah, but the people said, “We will continue with our own plans” (Jeremiah 18:12). Because of this, God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Jerusalem and capture most of its inhabitants.

Maybe God is warning you today about some sin in your life. If so, be encouraged. That is proof of His compassion for us (Hebrews 12:5-6). He sees what’s ahead and wants us to avoid the problems that will come. 

REFLECT & PRAY 

Lord, give me the ability to hear not just Your words but also Your heart. Help me to learn from the mistakes of those whose stories You have given us. Help me to honor You with my life.

God’s warnings are to protect us, not to punish us.

28 OCT: WHERE IS YOUR FOCUS

You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. Hebrews 10:34

READ HEBREWS 10:32-39

Early in September 2011, a raging wildfire destroyed 600 homes in and around the city of Bastrop in central Texas. A few weeks later an article in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper carried this headline: “People who lost the most, focus on what wasn’t lost.” The article described the community’s outpouring of generosity and the realization of those who received help that neighbors, friends, and community were worth far more than anything they lost.

The writer of Hebrews reminded first-century followers of Jesus to recall how they had bravely endured persecution early in their life of faith. They stood their ground in the face of insults and oppression, standing side by side with other believers (Hebrews 10:32-33). “You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions” (verse 34). Their focus was not on what they had lost but on eternal things that could not be taken from them.

Jesus told His followers, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). As we focus on the Lord and all that we have in Him, even our most precious possessions can be held lightly. 

REFLECT & PRAY 

Lord, open our eyes to see You and to embrace what is most important each day.

Where is your focus today?

27 OCT: GOD'S BATTLE

The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name.—Exodus 15:3

READ EXODUS 15:1-13

The Battle Is the Lord’s When we are weak, God is strong! Look at David in the Bible when he faced Goliath.

David was not physically strong compared to Goliath. David had all the odds against him. No one thought David would slay the giant. Goliath laughed at David and thought it would be an easy battle.

But David wasn’t concerned about what Goliath or the people thought—he had total confidence and trust in God. God wants us to trust Him when we face our giants. God blesses us through our faith. He will win the battle.

Don’t be confused with who is in control. We are not capable and we don’t have the power. There is no one on earth greater that the Creator. David’s eyes weren’t on the giant. First Samuel 17:47 says, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands."

This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” We might be facing little-known territory regarding our various problems —but God remains the same. Don’t focus on the situation, focus on what God can do. God’s battle plan looks nothing like ours.

REFLECT & PRAY 

Lord, thank You for being with us and going before us.

We can’t win this battle on our own; we need God to fight for us. 

26 OCT: SON REFLECTOR

This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light. — John 1:7

READ JOHN 1:1-9

The cozy little village of Rjukan, Norway, is a delightful place to live—except during the dark days of winter. Located in a valley at the foot of the towering Gaustatoppen Mountain, the town receives no direct sunlight for nearly half of the year. Residents had long considered the idea of placing mirrors at the top of the mountain to reflect the sun. But the concept was not feasible until recently. In 2005, a local artist began “The Mirror Project” to bring together people who could turn the idea into reality. Eight years later, in October 2013, the mirrors went into action. Residents crowded into the town square to soak up the reflected sunlight.

In a spiritual sense, much of the world is like the village of Rjukan—mountains of troubles keep the light of Jesus from getting through. But God strategically places His children to act as reflectors. One such person was John the Baptist, who came “to bear witness of the Light”—Jesus—who gives lightto those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death” (John 1:7; Luke 1:79).

Just as sunlight is essential for emotional and physical health, so exposure to the light of Jesus is essential for spiritual health. Thankfully, every believer is in a position to reflect His light into the world’s dark places. 

REFLECT & PRAY 

Dear Father, help me to reflect Your light into the world around me today. May all that I say and do bear witness of Your light and truth. May others see how wonderful You are.

A world in darkness needs the light of Jesus.

25 OCT: MAKING A CHOICE

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. Deuteronomy 30:15

READ DEUTERONOMY 30:11-18

Author John Bevere said that we may not be able to shorten the time we spend in the wilderness, but we sure can lengthen it. How? By being stubborn or disobedient, by ignoring the promptings of the Holy Spirit, or by refusing to allow God’s will to take precedence over our own.

It’s no fun wandering in the wilderness, and God certainly doesn’t want you to stay there long. Often it’s an act of surrender that proves to be the way out, but surrender is a choice. Digging in your heels is a choice too. You’re certainly exercising free will, but at what cost?

“God is a perfect gentleman.” With supreme restraint, He allows us to wield free will—the greatest blessing and curse of our lives. God can command us to love Him, but He can’t force us. It’s His only limitation; because by forcing us, it would negate His character.

Anytime you’re faced with a choice between God’s will and your own, choose His. You literally can’t go wrong when you surrender and do the right thing, the hard thing, the thing you’d really rather not do. His way is rarely the easy way, but it’s always the right way.

REFLECT & PRAY 

Father, thank You for teaching us and showing us the right path, Holy Spirit help us choose God's will every day, in every battle and every time.

Remember that surrender is also an act of free will.

24 OCT: BEING IMPERCEPTIBLE

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

READ EXODUS 2:11-22

In some countries, this is the time of year when plants defy death by remaining underground until it is safe to come out again. Before the snow comes and the ground freezes, they let go of their beautiful blooms and retreat to a place where they can rest and save energy for the next growing season. Contrary to the way it looks, they are not dead; they are dormant. When the snow melts and the ground thaws, they will again lift their heads toward heaven, greeting their Creator with brilliant colors and sweet fragrances.

The seasons of life require that we sometimes enter a period of dormancy. We are not dead, but we may feel we’ve become invisible. During such times we may feel useless, and we may wonder whether God will ever use us again. But periods like this are for our protection and preparation.

When the time is right and the conditions are safe, God will call us once again to service and worship. Moses experienced a period of time like this. After killing an Egyptian who harmed a fellow Hebrew, Moses had to flee for his life to the distant land of the Midianites (Exodus 2:11-22). There, God protected him and prepared him for the biggest assignment of his life (3:10).

So be encouraged. We are never invisible to God.

 REFLECT & PRAY 

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care; in Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare. 

No one is invisible to God.

23 OCT: WE HAVE JESUS

The Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. Isaiah 49:13

READ ISAIAH 49:13-20

There is rarely a problem-free season in our lives, but sometimes the onslaught is terrifying.

Rose saw her entire family, except for her two little daughters, slaughtered in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. Now she is a widow among many widows with little money. But she refuses to be defeated. She has adopted two orphans and simply trusts God to provide for the food and school fees for her family of five. She translates Christian literature into the local language and organizes an annual conference for other widows. Rose wept as she told me her story. But for every problem in her life she has one simple remedy. “For this,” she said, “I have Jesus.”

God knows exactly what you are facing today. Isaiah reminds us that God’s knowledge of us is so intimate that it is as if our names were written on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16). We may sometimes neglect the needs of others, even those who are closest to us, but God is aware of every detail of our lives. And He has given us His Spirit to guide, to comfort, and to strengthen us.

Think of the challenges you face at this moment, and then write these words beside each one as a reminder of His faithfulness and care: “For this, I have Jesus.” 

REFLECT & PRAY 

Thank You, Jesus, for being near to me right now. I’m grateful for Your faithfulness.

Life takes on perspective in the light of Christ.

22 OCT: FULLNESS OF JOY

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. Psalm 96:4

READ PSALM 145:1-18

“Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” says the Westminster Catechism. Much of Scripture calls for joyful gratitude and adoration of the living God. When we honor God, we celebrate Him as the Source from which all goodness flows.

When we praise God from our heart we find ourselves in that joyful state for which we were created. Just as a beautiful sunset or a peaceful pastoral scene points to the majesty of the Creator, so worship draws us into a close spiritual union with Him. The psalmist says, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise . . . . The Lord is near to all who call on him” (Psalm 145:3,18).

God does not need our praise, but we need to praise God. By basking in His presence we drink in the joy of His infinite love and rejoice in the One who came to redeem and restore us. “In your presence there is fullness of joy,” the psalmist says. “At your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). 

REFLECT & PRAY 

Dear Lord, You are the great and mighty God, the Creator of the universe. I will praise Your name always. There is no God besides You.

Worship is a heart overflowing with praise to God.