SUNDAY, June 25
Fourth Sunday After Pentecost
We tend to look past Scriptures that don’t fit into our theological construct of Jesus. We like to embrace Scriptures that portray Jesus
as meek, loving, and squeaky clean. After all, how could a sinless Jesus hang around with poor, smelly, unscrupulous, diseased, and rejected people? Those people, with all their ills, can rub off on you. So we traditionally don’t spend a lot of time in their company. We think that keeping our distance from them keeps us untainted and holy.
But keeping our distance also renders us ineffective and unattractive to the very people we are called to reach in the name of Jesus. The love of God compelled Jesus to reach out to people on the fringes of society. His life and ministry was marked by his encounters with people we too often avoid.
Lord, teach me to be more like you. Help me to love the unlovely and the seemingly unlovable. AMEN.
PRAYER FOCUS: GRATITUDE
Jesus, Miracle Worker
MONDAY, June 26
Have you ever been desperate? Two scenarios in this short passage portray very desperate cases. In the first, a girl has died. In the second,
a woman has a condition that caused her to bleed. Jesus was the answer in both situations. In the first case, death had been declared, and mourners had gathered. But Jesus, the author of life, commanded death to take its hands off the little girl, and death relented. In the second case, despite many visits to the doctor, the woman had not been healed of a condition that caused her to hemorrhage. But by merely touching the clothing of Jesus, she was immediately healed.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. When he steps into a situation, our fears are banished and hope springs anew.
Lord, may we look to you as our healer, redeemer, and hope of resurrection. AMEN.
God Is with Us!
TUESDAY, June 27
The Lord is faithful and hears our cries. In this life, we will suffer loss, get sick or wounded, be rejected, or lose our way. Those are not the times to run away from God. We run toward God. We talk to God. We offer a sacrifice of praise. Yes, we will all have times when it seems like we are in a valley—those dark and scary places. That’s when we are stretched in our faith. We can grow stronger in faith while walking through our valley experiences. Remember, God is with us in the valley and can bring us out of the valley. Just hold on and trust in God!
God, you said you would be with me even in the valley of the shadow of death. Thank you for your abiding presence! Thank you for your unfailing love! AMEN.
PRAYER FOCUS: PEOPLE FACING FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES
A Life Well Lived
WEDNESDAY, June 28
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants”
(v. 15, NIV).
A word in Scripture that is often overlooked is “faithful.” Are you a faithful servant? Will your death be precious in the sight of the Lord? I’m sure this is our hope: To be able to enter into the presence of the Lord and hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Now is the time to pursue faithfulness. Now is the time to shine for God. Now is the time to do good and shun evil. Now is the time to share the gospel. Now is the time to be a good neighbor. Now is the time to help the afflicted. Now is the time to draw closer to God. If not now, when?
Lord, help me to grow in you. Let my light so shine that all will see my good works and glorify you. AMEN.
God of the Impossible
THURSDAY, June 29
Genesis 18:1-15; 21:5-6
The birth of Isaac involves the supernatural. His parents, Abraham and Sarah, were very old and had given up on having a baby together.
But after a visit from God, their circumstances changed. One must wonder, what changes occurred between Abraham and Sarah after their encounter with God? When someone has a supernatural encounter with God, their outlook changes. Their faith changes. They are more inclined to go out on a limb for God. Years after Isaac was born, Abraham was willing to obey the voice of the Lord and offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Now that’s what I call going out on a limb! Our God is a God of the impossible. God can overcome any difficulty we are facing. Nothing is too big for our God.
Lord, help my unbelief. Forgive me for not believing that you can change my circumstances. AMEN.
PRAYER FOCUS: PEOPLE WHO ARE GRIEVING
Isaiah, Prophet of Hope
FRIDAY, June 30
King Uzziah was one of the greatest leaders of Judah since King David. Unfortunately, King Uzziah got caught up in pride and fell from grace.
He made a fatal error that sealed his fate: he thought he could act as
a priest. One day he had the temerity to enter the holy of holies and offered incense before God. As a result of this act of gross of disobedience, God instantly struck the king with leprosy, and Uzziah died shortly after that. A leader’s sins can impact their nation. A leader’s sins can even cause a nation to lose its way. In the dark days following Uzziah’s death, God appeared to the prophet Isaiah to bring a word of hope and correction. Even in the darkest of times, God can inspire us to move forward. God doesn’t give up on us.
Lord, I pray for the leaders of this nation. May they revere you and seek your face. AMEN.
The Power of God unto Salvation
SATURDAY, July 1
Are you ashamed of the gospel? Most of us would emphatically say,
“Of course not!” But when was the last time you shared the gospel with somebody? Think about something you are proud of—your car, a recipe, your child, an accomplishment in your job. The things we are proud of are the things we tend to talk about, right? Conversely, we don’t tend to talk about things we aren’t proud of. There is power inherent in the gospel to save people. That’s why Paul preached so fervently, all over the world, against all odds. He saw how the gospel changed lives.
The gospel is still changing lives. But it must be shared to change lives. Will you share the gospel?
Lord, help me to be a bold witness for you. Help me to proudly share the gospel with my family, neighbors, and many others. AMEN.
PRAYER FOCUS: GLOBAL PERSONNEL IN AFRICA