Proverbs 22:29 NIV
Here’s a prayer for success at work: “Lord, I thank You for the way You’ve made me, for the many gifts and talents You’ve placed within me, and I trust that I’m the best person for this job. I am grateful for each and every one of the personalities I work with, even the ones I don’t particularly like or understand. I ask that my focus would be on accomplishing the goals You have set forth for me to perform during my time in this position. Give me wisdom and discernment on the job, even in the midst of a hostile environment. Help me to learn what You want to teach me here, and give me patience as You prepare me for the future. Help me to do my best, and to always remain positive and hopeful. Please quiet the complaints and disappointments of my heart with Your perfect peace, and allow me to trust You with my job. Dress me in the garments of praise and the righteousness of Christ that I may bring You glory where I work. Allow me to know my true identity, to walk in Your favor, and to seek to please You more than those with whom I work. Where there is contention, let me be a peacemaker. Where there is deceit, let me speak truth. Where there is despair, let me bring hope. Where there is fear, let me bring faith. Where there is darkness, let me bring light. Where there is sadness, let me bring joy. These things I ask in Jesus’ name, amen.”
Soul food: Judg 9:34-11:40; Mark 10:35-52; Ps 129; Prov 20:25; Ecc 5:4-6
Proverbs 22:29 NIV
We should all want to be successful for God. His idea of success isn’t the same as the world’s idea of success, so it’s important that we take time to pray about our work and the tasks He’s assigned to us, so we can stay focused and on track. Here’s a prayer we can all pray, whatever our task is: ‘Lord, I thank You for the way You’ve made me, for all the gifts and talents You’ve given me, and I trust that I’m the best person for the task You’ve assigned to me. I’m grateful for all the people I work with and connect with, even the ones I don’t really like or understand. Please help me keep my focus on accomplishing the goals You’ve set for me. Give me wisdom and discernment, especially if I’m in a difficult situation. Help me to learn what You want to teach me through this task, and give me patience as You prepare me for the future. Help me to do my best, and to always remain positive and hopeful. Please soothe the complaints and disappointments of my heart with Your perfect peace. Help me to bring You glory and share Your love through the work I’m doing. Allow me to know my true identity, to walk in Your favour, and help me seek to please You. Keep me on the path You’ve laid out for me. Help me to be a peacemaker in times of conflict or argument. When others around me are being deceitful or untrustworthy, help me speak only the truth. Help me bring hope, faith and joy to places where there is despair, fear and sadness. Help me be a light in the darkness. I ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.’
Judg 9:34-11:40; Mark 10:35-52; Ps 129; Prov 20:25; Ecc 5:4-6
Genesis 22:1 NKJV
The Bible says: ‘God tested Abraham, and said…”Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham…went to the place of which God had told him’ (vv. 1-3 NKJV). When we feel like God’s testing us, we can end up questioning why. And the answer is that it’s so He can prove His faithfulness to us, and we can prove our faithfulness to Him. But also, it’s to help us grow. We can’t become spiritually mature without times of testing. They’re the times that show us where our trust lies, and how much of it we have. It reminds us of how much we need Him. That day when Abraham was tested, he proved there was nothing he loved more than God. And that was the day when God introduced Himself to Abraham as ‘Jehovah Jireh,’ which means ‘the Lord who provides’. God will also test us to make sure our identity and our security are found in Him alone. He should be priority in our lives, but it’s easy for other things to get in the way of that. We can get distracted by things we enjoy, other people and even serving God. We don’t need to fear that God’s going to take away what’s important to us, but we do sometimes need a reminder that God should be the most important thing. He loves to bless us with gifts. The Bible says: ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above’ (James 1:17 NIV). But the gift shouldn’t become more important to us than the Giver. Being tested isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. So let’s welcome the testing.
Deut 32:29-34:12; Mark 9:1-13; Ps 62; Prov 12:18-19
Luke 23:18 NIV
The Bible says: “With one voice they cried out, ‘Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!’ (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder)” (vv.18-19 NIV). And just like Barabbas, we deserve to die for our sins. Four prison walls, thickened with fear, hurt, and hate, surround us. We’re incarcerated by our past, our low-road choices, and our high-minded pride. We’ve been found guilty. We sit on the floor of a dusty cell awaiting the final moment. Our executioner’s footsteps echo against stone walls. Head between knees, we don’t look up as he opens the door; we don’t lift our eyes as he begins to speak. We know what he’s going to say: “Time to pay for your sins.” But then you hear something else: “You’re free to go. They took Jesus instead of you.” The door swings open, the guard barks, “Get out!” and we find ourselves in the light of the morning sun, shackles gone, crimes pardoned, wondering, “What just happened?” Grace happened! Christ took away your sins. All of them. Where did He take them? To the top of a hill called Calvary. “God in his gracious kindness declared us not guilty…through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us” (See Romans 3:24-25 NLT). Jesus loves and forgives you, and He has a wonderful plan for your life. So come to Him today.
Soul food: Deut 30:1-32:28; Mark 8:27-38; Ps 57; Prov 12:15-17
1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV
There are three specific ways Jabez prayed that God would bless him: 1) ‘Enlarge my territory.’ He had a dream of owning more land, and he asked God to bless that dream. When we stop dreaming we lose direction. When we stop setting goals we stop growing. It’s always good to have something we’re pushing towards. We have to remember that not all our dreams will be blessed by God. He knows what’s best for us, but the more time we spend with God the more our hearts and dreams become aligned with His. 2) ‘That Your hand would be with me.’ God’s hand represents His power. Jabez realized that if he got more territory it meant he would have more responsibility. He would have greater demands and more pressure, and he would really need God’s help in his life. So he requested God to be with him. God always promises to be with us. 3) ‘That You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.’ Jabez asked God for His protection. In those days, the more land someone owned, the more influence they had, and the better known they were, the bigger a target they were. It’s the same today. The more successful we are, the more critics we have. The closer we get to God and the stronger we become as Christians, the more the Devil tries to trip us up because he doesn’t want us to grow and advance God’s kingdom. But with God’s protection we don’t have to fear anyone or anything. ‘”Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name”‘ (Psalm 91:14 NIV).
Deut 1-2; Mark 6:1-6; Ps 35; Prov 11:19-21