Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 24, Psalm 66-67, Isaiah 14, and 1 Peter 2
By Kendra Roberts
Today’s art is a response to Psalm 66:
Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance (verses 8-12 ESV.)
I was intrigued by the rough path —a crushing burden, a smelting heat, fire, water, a trapping net— all along the way to abundance.
The beginning of Psalm 66 offers shouts of JOY and a directive…
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!”
Today I encourage you to look at the rough spots a little differently—gratefully? Believe and take courage that HE will not let your foot slip and will keep your soul among the living!
Today’s Question: What do you see when you look at life’s rough spots—is it a promise of abundance?… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 21, Psalm 60-61, Isaiah 10, and James 4
By Laurie Short
You’ve probably heard the quote, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” It’s not a Bible verse, but I think I’ll vote for it when the next translation comes out. However it could be a contender for a loose paraphrase of James 4:13–15:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. [Don’t hold back, James. Tell us how you really feel.] Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but James isn’t exactly a beat around the bush guy. In other places in this chapter, he calls his readers adulterous, double minded, greedy, slanderous, judgmental and hypocritical. So what if he happens to be right? He could at least try to say it nicely.
But there is something about v.13-15 that grips me.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 7, Psalm 42-43, Song of Songs 5, and Hebrews 5
By Christina Vinson
If you were to look at my life as an outsider, this is what you would probably see: an almost-29-year-old living in Nashville, loved by a truly doting and selfless husband, working her dream job [at home, in sweatpants!], with a wardrobe almost wholly supplied by a twin sister who works for Anthropologie’s headquarters.
If you were to come in a little further and step into my home, my safe place, this is what you would find: rooms bursting with Southern sunshine, an eclectic mix of West Elm furniture, thrift store finds, and a rather obsessive collection of [dying] plants. If you’re a close friend, you’d also see the messy side of our lives: the dishes crusted with two-day-old food, the dust bunnies in the corners, the hair on the bathroom floor (really, does it ever end?).
But if you were to peek into my heart, you would find something drastically different from my somewhat curated home and the ‘ideal’ circumstances I live in.
If you were to take up residence in my heart and head, here’s what you would find: a girl prone to depression; not just the kind of ‘down in the dumps’ feeling that thinks, “Man, I feel kind of down today.” No, it’s the kind of depression that keeps me in bed, with the curtains drawn, and an utterly crippling feeling of numbness and apathy toward life.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 6, Psalm 40-41, Song of Songs 4, and Hebrews 4
By Amylee Weeks
Today’s art is a response to Psalm 40:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told. (verses 1-5 ESV)
Today’s Questions: What cries of yours has the Lord heard? What rock has he set your feet upon?
Amylee’s life verse is, “by the grace of God, I am what I am.” She believes whole-heartedly in God’s leading and his words speaking directly to her as she walks this life.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Numbers 2, Psalm 36, Ecclesiastes 12, and Philemon
By Tricia Lott Williford
Think of the greatest mentor in your life. The person about whom you might say, “She taught me everything I know,” or “I am the person I am today because of his influence.”
When I think of the most powerful mentors in my life, I can speak from experience: pretty much for the rest of my days, if they ask anything of me, I’m going to feel compelled to respond. I would be pretty hard pressed to act against what someone asks of me, be that person a camp counselor from the best summers of my life, a teacher who taught me far more than what was on the syllabus, or the youth pastor who led me think bigger and better than what I had known before.
That’s who Paul was to most of the early Christians. He was not their biological father, but he was their spiritual parent. He taught them how to live and showed them who to become as Christ followers. When he was imprisoned for sharing the gospel, I imagine that they lived for his letters – they waited eagerly to hear what their mentor had to say, this man who had so deeply loved them and influenced their lives.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 36, Psalm 33, Ecclesiastes 9, and Titus 1
By Julie Chen
Today’s art is a response to Psalm 33:
The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you. (verses 18-22, NIV)
Bonus! Julie is making today’s art available as a FREE DOWNLOAD on her site, where she also shares what this image and this passage have meant to her over the years. Read Julie’s thoughts and get your copy of her art here!
Today’s Question: Where is your hope and your trust today?
Julie Chen dreamed of being an artist and missionary since the age of six. Though she has not been around the world as a missionary (in the physical sense), her work has shown the gospel to others across the globe. She designs books for Tyndale House Publishers (including PYP founder Lisa Velthouse’s Craving Grace) and was also the designer of The Jesus Storybook Bible for Zonderkidz.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 20, Psalm 25, Ecclesiastes 3, and 1 Timothy 5
By Kelli Gotthardt
Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow. Psalm 25:4 (NLT)
How often I’ve asked God to show me the path I should go. Particularly when making a big decision like a job change, a move or other life transition.
If I’m honest, when I’m asking for this kind of clarity there’s an underlying expectation that if I walk in it, I will find it fairly smooth. Yes, there will be the necessary character building struggles, but overall, I’m hoping for a relatively comfortable path.
Then I meet people like Rose Mapendo. Rose is a Congolese refugee who has survived the execution of her husband and sixteen months in a death camp with her ten children. This was not a path she would have chosen and she admits that for a time she refused to speak with God. She was angry with him for the path that had been marked out for her. But to talk with her today she freely acknowledges that God’s path had a purpose. She now speaks for those who have lost their voice and travels all over the world inspiring others with her message of hope and forgiveness.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 18, Psalm 22, Ecclesiastes 1, and 1 Timothy 3
By Brenda Chance
In my calmest yet most serious mommy voice I’d sufficiently warned them that if they asked me for one more thing I was going to lose my mind. It would unravel like a slinky on a step, twisting and tangling in on itself so as to never slinky straight again.
“Now take the string cheese you badgered out of me and for the love of unicorns and rainbows, sit down quietly and eat it…” A twenty-minute cheese standoff will have you talking like this. Without a single consideration of my mental state or the courtesy to wait for the end of my sentence, he made his vitriolic demand, “I don’t want string cheese; I want square orange cheese.” From the chessboard of my sanity this little three-year-old snatched up the queen.
I’m not exactly sure how I made it down the hall. Spinning and dizziness bumped me side to side down the walls, like a pinball launched into flight yet still trapped in its maze. Sinking into a puddle on the floor, with numb fingers I simultaneously locked the door and unhinged my anguished lament.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Leviticus 4, Psalm 1-2, Proverbs 19, and Colossians 2
By Cindi Koceich
Today’s art is a response to Psalm 1:
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
or sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1 ESV)
Cindi’s thoughts on her art follow:
I believe this Scripture holds the answer to living a life that is truly free in Christ – a life that is deeply nourished, bears much fruit, and is filled with light in a very dark world.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers…”
The word blessed in this passage literally translates, “Oh the happiness.” This world offers so many counterfeits to true happiness, selling us lies that power, wealth, comfort or status will fulfill us.… Continue Reading
Today’s Bible passages are: Exodus 39, John 18, Proverbs 15, and Philippians 2
By Amanda Jenkins
My husband is a director, and is making a short film for our Good Friday service. Since the crucifixion of the Savior of the world is a challenging moment to believably recreate, Dallas hired seasoned actors from LA and flew them to Chicago where we currently live.
Chicago. As in, forty degrees below zero for much of the winter and snow on the ground in late March — that Chicago. Thankfully, we’ve had a few warmish days that did away with the six foot snow drifts, but the chill in the air remains and so do our winter coats. And all that to say, I’m not sure our LA actors even own winter coats, and if they did, they certainly couldn’t wear them while hanging on crosses in a rock quarry-turned-Golgotha.
I visited the set with my kids yesterday, who were too cold to stay outside so they huddled in tents with space heaters. But Jesus and the thieves were dressed in loin clothes, hoisted above the piles of dirt where the breeze moved unfettered. In between takes, they’d climb down ladders so the crew could wrap them in blankets.… Continue Reading