1 Samuel 1 - Day 335
1 Samuel 1 - Day 335 (link to today's reading)
Summary: First Samuel records the history of Israel in the land of Canaan as they move from the rule of judges to be a unified nation under kings. Samuel emerges as the last judge, and he anoints the first two kings, Saul and David.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:9-18
Application: God hears our prayers, even when we don't think that He is listening. Year after year, Hannah prayed for God to open her womb but her prayers went unanswered. Then suddenly, when the time was right, He opened her womb and she conceived a son. Does that mean that everyone who prays earnestly will conceive? Not necessarily, it just means that God has a plan and in the end, we'll understand that it was "good."
Prayer: Lord, please help me to trust that Your plans are good...
Romans 16 - Day 334
Romans 16 - Day 334 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Romans 16:1
Observation: Paul introduces Phoebe, a deaconess in the church in Cenchrea, to the Christians in Rome.
Application: Without Jesus, the world would be very different today and I believe that men would still treat women as expendable objects whose sole purpose is to bear children (consider the Taliban Muslims who ruled Afghanistan with and iron first in the 1990's). Jesus, on the other hand, viewed and accepted women as equals for they are also created in the image of God.
Prayer: Lord, help me to support and promote Your daughters at Waiokeola...
Romans 15 - Day 333
Romans 15 - Day 333 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Romans 15:1-9a
Observation: As Paul begins winding down, he reminds his audience that we glorify God by extending the grace that we have received from Him to others.
Application: It's more important to treat others with love, dignity, and respect than to accomplish great things for God.
Prayer: Lord, help me to love others as You love them.
Romans 14 - Day 332
Romans 14 - Day 332 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Romans 14:1
Observation: Paul instructs the church in Rome to value respect and kindness over being right.
Application: Just because I think I'm correct, doesn't give me the right to impose my "will" upon others. Rather, we are to "aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up."
Prayer: Lord, help me to love my neighbor as myself...
Romans 13 - Day 331
Romans 13 - Day 331 (link to today's reading)
Scripture: Romans 13:1-5
Observation: Paul revealed God’s will for us, His children, in chapter 12 (to be sanctified/Holy) so now he explains what that looks like practically. Surprisingly, Paul instructs us to submit to our governing authorities because God is the one who has established them. This is coming from a Jewish man living under Roman oppression.
Application: There is so much packaged here in this one passage that I don’t understand or agree with. It’s as if God knew that I would object to Paul’s instructions here, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person to have ever felt this way. Hence, God gives us a model/example of what it looks like to be subject to the governing authorities through Paul’s life, as well as in the lives of the other apostles. Remember that all the apostles lived under Roman oppression and were eventually martyred.
The lesson - we don’t have to like or agree with our governing authorities to submit to their instructions. We just need to trust that God is in control. That doesn’t mean that we can’t pray for God to do something and change the existing leadership, especially if they’re immoral or unjust. In fact, we should do everything in our power to do what we can and believe that God will do His part.
Prayer: Lord, have Your way in me, especially when I don’t understand or agree with what’s going on.
Husband, Father, Pastor....
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