Week 44, Wednesday Dorothy Patterson And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:8 (nkjv) The pattern for godly traits is found in the life of Jesus, who humbled Himself to make atonement for our sins on the cross (see Philippians 2:5-8). From Jesus’ humble birth in a crude stable in the village of Bethlehem, He went against culture in following a path of servanthood to reach His exaltation. His followers were called to self-denial in order to offer themselves in service to others, putting their lives on the line (see Matthew 16:24). Humility comes from God; it is not something to add to your résumé! The Lord demonstrated this poverty of spirit as the suffering servant in Isaiah (see Isaiah 53:7). Even in His silence, the Lord expressed His humble spirit with eloquence. In Jesus’ testing in the...
Week 46, Weekend Mary Mohler He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 How do you respond when the waiting is over? Resolution itself often brings relief. Certainly, there is joy if the result is one for which you have hoped. There may even be gratitude if the Lord shows you why His answer is not what you requested and you can already see why. However, if after waiting the answer is clearly not what you wanted and you cannot see why, then what? Some will ask, “Why me? Why can’t I be the one to get my ‘happily ever after’ result?” Our plans are not His plans. We must not lose sight of how many elements are interwoven when we talk about waiting, trusting, and seeking His will. Sometimes insecurities creep in here. Satan loves this. We start thinking, “I am just...
Week 46, Friday
For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. Psalm 37:9 (esv)
We turn to the Psalms again to find that we should wait expectantly. There will be results. Expect them! Yet we know that a day is like one thousand years with the Lord and one thousand years is like a day (see 2 Peter 3:8).
This means that the water will eventually boil. The sun will eventually set. The situation in which we are found waiting will eventually be resolved—perhaps as we want it to be, perhaps not.
While we are resting, God is at work as He deals with the evildoers. He has no need to rest. He is working out His perfect plan before our very eyes—and teaching us valuable lessons in the process.
Expectantly wait for those lessons. There...
Week 46, Thursday Mary Mohler Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14 (esv) Here we find a directive that suggests our waiting is to be an active waiting—not a “put your head in the sand” mentality. Charles Stanley wisely said, “Waiting is a directed, purposeful expectancy.” He said it is not “twiddling my thumbs” but “standing on tiptoe waiting for His further instructions.” I love that word picture. We are to be waiting with bated breath for the Lord to act whenever it is that He chooses to do so. We are wise to admit that in some situations as we wait, there is absolutely nothing we can or need to do but to pray, back off, and accept the fact that the circumstances cannot be aided by our input. As we wait for fruit to come from seeds we have...
Week 46, Wednesday
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7 (nasb)
How do we wait? Are we supposed to be smiling and carefree all the time? Should we keep looking at our watches and drumming our fingers?
No, according to this verse, we are to be patient in our waiting and simply rest. That is easier said than done. Picture a small child who huffs and puffs while waiting for his turn with a toy. I fear that we all know some adults who wait that way. Our humility should remind us that anytime we wait on the Lord, there is a reason—it’s no mistake. His timing is never too slow or too fast. He knows the plans He has for us. His ways are not our ways.
We should long to be in step with His timing. The absolute worst place...
Week 46, Tuesday
And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. Psalm 39:7 (esv)
Would that we would resonate with the psalmist that our hope is simply in the Lord. We seem burdened by a long list of things for which we wait. Here are some common issues: marriage, motherhood, salvation of loved ones, healing from physical or mental disease, reconciliation of family or friends from a broken relationship, results from diet and lifestyle changes, freedom from addictions, employment, and deliverance from financial debt.
We, as believers, wait together for the Lord to produce fruit from the seeds we sow for the gospel. We wait for the resources needed to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, the horror of abortion to be outlawed, false religions to be exposed for what they are, and wars to cease.
We also have...
Week 46, Monday Mary Mohler Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7 (esv) Waiting on the Lord is a familiar theme in Scripture—in fact we read the phrase “wait on the Lord” nine times in Psalms, seven times in Isaiah, and thirty times in all. We know that it is a biblical command, but waiting is not as easy as it sounds. Women in the Bible had to wait. Women like Sarah, Abigail, Ruth, and Mary waited. They waited for a spouse, children, healing, and change of circumstances. So much is different in the twenty-first century, but some of the issues related to waiting are exactly the same. We are simply more spoiled. We don’t like to wait for anything. We have instant potatoes, instant diagnostics, and instant messaging. We want what we want now. So we get frustrated when the light doesn’t turn green, the Skype connection is lost, or test results...
Week 45, Weekend Anya Roberts If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 In the Word of the Lord, we find this wonderful verse. It has been a lifelong favorite verse for me. I’ve always loved it and have been encouraged by its wonderful truth. There are three things that come to mind as I think about this verse. The first one is that the Lord really does forgive our sins, and when He forgives us it is to forgive and to forget. As His Word has told us in several places, our sins are buried and they’re remembered no more. They are separated and divided as far as the east is from the west (see Psalm 103:12), and that’s a long way! What a wonderful reality it is to know that while we’ve all failed and we’ve all...
Week 45, Friday
. . . Then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
This wonderful invitation to revival—spiritual renewal of the Lord—also tells us of the blessings God will bestow upon us when we humble ourselves, seek His face, and turn away from our sin. With our return to the Lord, He promises three things.
The first promise God makes is to hear us when we pray. Sometimes when we pray it can feel as if we are talking to thin air and no one hears our deepest pleas. We can be reassured and find comfort, however, that in our humble seeking of His face we are heard.
Not only are we heard, but in the second blessing God bestows on us, He promises to respond to what He hears. The response is forgiveness for our sin. It...
Week 45, Thursday
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways . . . 2 Chronicles 7:14
How do you feel our country is doing spiritually? Do you sense and see there’s a need for true spiritual awakening and renewal? Are morals and values declining in a dramatic and disturbing fashion? Do you believe our nation as a whole has lost its vision and its sense of purpose driven by the providence and the plans of God? If so, then this verse will have great relevance and importance for you. I want us to note several important things about it, because it places a great obligation upon the people of the Lord. This shows us that if revival is to come, as by its very definition it should, it must come to His people...