IS GOD BIGGER THAN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES?

Journal Entry by Geoff Allen

S – Scripture: Psalm 74:16-17 (TPT)
You own the day and the night.  Sunlight and starlight call you Creator.  The four corners of the earth were formed by your hands, and every changing season owes its beauty to you.

O - Observation
Sometimes I forget how big God is and focus on where I am at or what I am going through, the circumstances that I find myself in whether of my own making or otherwise. (sound familiar)


A - Application
To change focus I read God’s word daily and see what he has to say to me, after all His word is alive and is just as applicable today as the day it was written.  I allow time to invest in my faith.  For me first thing in the morning works, I sit in my arm chair while the house is quiet and its still dark outside and do my daily readings; and do it with a view of getting something out of it,  Allowing yourself to focus on the greatness of God and His promises to you as your heavenly father is powerful.  I like David’s advice to Solomon when he was dying” ….but you; be strong; show what you’re made of! Do what God tells you.  Walk in the paths he shows you;  Follow the life-map absolutely, keep an eye out for the signposts, His course for life set out in the revelation to Moses; then you’ll get on well in whatever you do and wherever you go.”(1 Kings 2:1-4 MSG)

Sometimes we have to be strong and courageous and stand in the promises of God.


P - Prayer
Help me not to be overwhelmed by the circumstances I find myself in, but rather be strong and courageous and stand in your promises for me recognizing that you are bigger than anything I am facing.

DON’T BE IN SUCH A HURRY YOU MISS THE GIFT!

Journal Entry by Grant Schofield

S – Scripture: Acts 1:4-5 - NIV
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

O - Observation
In this verse Luke (the author of Acts) is referring to a previous verse he wrote in Luke 24:9. He is reminding all the disciples of the command Jesus had given them. To not leave, but wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit to come upon you.


A - Application
There are so many times that I will not sit and wait. I will attempt to do things in my own strength. I assume that I know what is right and proceed down a particular path, only to find that the path is harder than expected or that it’s completely wrong and I’ve wasted all this time and energy on something I didn’t need to. This scripture reminds me that I need to be patient in waiting for the Holy Spirit’s prompting. That my decision will never come close to the Fathers and that when I’m led by the Holy Spirit I’m in the best hands possible.


P - Prayer
Lord, don’t let me be so concerned with living where I am and missing the gift of the Holy Spirit. Let me be diligent in the season of waiting and allow me to learn and be transformed through the Holy Spirit as my Guide and Helper. Amen

THE DISCIPLES ARE JUST LIKE US

Journal Entry by Chris Watling

S – Scripture: John 18:17 - NIV
“You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter.  He replied, “I am not.”

O - Observation
Often I make fun of the disciples but they are so like me, Their responses and their actions are not far from my own. Sometimes I scoff at the fact that they are with Jesus and they should respond better than the way they do, but I do the same. He is near to me, He has sent his spirit to guide and teach me, yet often my response is the same.

Peter responded in fear here. He did not do it deliberately or with evil in his heart but despite his best intentions, he failed. Maybe he didn't fully trust who Jesus was at that point of his journey or maybe he allowed the circumstances of the current situation, which probably would have been overwhelming, to rule his words and actions. From this test, Peter learned a lot and became the courageous leader that he needed to be to push the church forward.

A - Application
Trust: Sometimes fear can strike when circumstances don’t look like I think they should, so I need to trust Jesus and what he wants for my life. To know that He is in control and He wants the best for me. I need to allow the Holy Spirit to transform my heart
Humility: Don't be proud, he knows if I'm going to fail but don’t give up keep going.
If I fail, use Peters example of how he became a different person after this incident. He was full of courage and knew who he was in God and what he was destined for.


P - Prayer
Jesus, please give me courage and wisdom to know when fear is ruling my decisions rather than your love and hope. Please help me to remember that you want the best for me and that I can trust you.

JESUS IS FOR ALL

Journal Entry by Ethan Mortomore

S – Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:15 - ESV
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”


O - Observation
Paul, In his writing to Timothy in chapter 1, seeks to encourage him to stay on the path Paul has set him on, warning him against false teaching and teachers; as Timothy helps the church in Ephesus. Paul then goes on to write that Jesus came to save sinners, who He is the worst of all (“Public Proof Number One as the message translation puts it). He never shies away from his past, but rather uses it to glorify Christ and how Jesus is using him in spreading the gospel. Christ came for Sinners is trustworthy and of full acceptance, for Christ came to save and transform all.


A - Application
Our response, as would have been Timothy’s, is to be encouraged by Paul’s words, and challenged to go after those who do not yet know Christ as their Saviour. We may not have the false teachings today that the first century church faced in regards to the gospel, however we live in a time where anything and everything seeks to grab our attention and sway our beliefs. Christ did not come to simply make our lives comfortable, but He died so that all may live eternally. Our commission as the Church is to spread the Gospel and Jesus’ love and sacrifice for all; regardless of who they are, or our past.


P - Prayer
Jesus we thank you for pursuing us, and showing us mercy, when we did nothing to deserve it. May we ever be about your business and spreading the good news of the Gospel to all; to be the church in and outside of a Sunday. May we not let our past hold us back from the future you have called us too. We thank you, and we love you. Amen

DOUBTER’S WILL COME

Journal Entry by Lester Salanoa

S – 2 Peter 3:3-5 (NIV)
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

O – Observation
Peter writes to encourage the believers of the early Church to hold steadfast as there was an incredible amount of doubt and unbelief whether God was capable of following through with what was foretold – keep in mind this was a people that had witnessed the miracles of God first hand.


A – Application
The first thing that comes to mind is that for us to fend off these doubters, we each need know and understand personally who God ‘IS’ as well as our purpose and the direction where we are headed. Once we understand with clarity of our calling, we can then walk with an unwavering level of confidence (Philippians 1:6) that can only come from a closeness with our creator and the ‘WHY’ we’ve been created. This passage is as relevant today as it was over two thousand years ago as there will always be opposition, sometimes by those who are close to us.


P – Prayer
Father, your word says that as we draw near to you, you will draw near to us – I pray that we will never grow comfortable in having you near that we lose our confidence but that we hunger for more of you and less of things with no eternal value.

GUARDRAILS

Journal Entry by Tony Gebran

S – Scripture: Exodus 33:15-16 (NLT)
"Then Moses said, "If you don't personally go with us, don't make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me and on your people-if you don't go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth."

O - Observation
What are the things in our lives that will set us apart from all those around us? 

What are the decisions/choices in my life that will honour God regardless of the cost?

How will I conduct my life when no one is watching?

A - Application
This has been a challenge from the very start of my walk with Christ, and the 2 scriptures that have stood out for me is Matthew 25:14 parable of the talents.

The first being faithful in the small things in our lives doing the little things that may seem irrelevant but I know God places importance on them.

The second being Micah 6:8 that he has shown you O man what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly to love mercy and to walk humbly before our God.

These two scriptures continue  to keep me in the race and guide how I need to walk and pay attention to the things that matter to God. They form a guard rail on my thoughts, actions and deeds!! It's your presence in my life that sets me apart and affects all my decisions..

P - Prayer
Lord my prayer today is that you continue to pour out your Grace and Mercy into my life and of those around me. May I be continually challenged to return to you with interest what you have invested into our lives. You have set us apart to serve and honour you and I ask that as I walk daily with you, you would direct and guide the steps of my life. I love you Jesus.

TRUE WORSHIPERS

Journal Entry by John and Jann Rice

S – Scripture: John 4:19-26  (TPT)
The woman said, you must be a prophet! So tell me this: Why do our fathers worship God here on this nearby mountain, but your people teach that Jerusalem is the place to worship. Which is right? . Jesus responded, Believe me, dear woman, the time has come when you won’t worship the Father on a mountain nor in Jerusalem, but in your heart.  Your people don’t really know the One they worship, we Jews worship out of our experience, for it’s from the Jews that salvation is made available.  From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who will worship and adore him in the realm of the Spirit and Truth. The woman said, this is all so confusing, but I know that the Anointed One is coming --- the true Messiah. And when he comes, he will tell us everything we need to know. Jesus said to her, “you don’t have to wait any longer, the Anointed One is here speaking with you -- I am the One you’re looking for. “

O - Observation
Jesus makes it clear that following religious traditions for location of worship misses the mark. But rather the Father requires true worshipers to have a right heart to worship and adore Him in Spirit and Truth. The woman at the well knew that the Messiah would come, Jesus declares, you don’t have to wait, I am the One you’re looking for.

A - Application
Whatever our background, our Heavenly Father delights in His children coming before Him in genuine, honest, Spirit filled worship to Honour and Adore Him through the finished work of Jesus, by the Holy Spirit releasing us to be true Worshipers in Spirit and Truth.

P - Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father I thank you for Jesus, that you sent Him so we could become your children, and know how to respond to you, with genuine heart filled love and worship, thank you for placing us in a Church Family that has a heart for Worship that we will encourage the lost to find the joy of your Salvation.  Amen.

CAN SOMEONE SPEAK INTO YOUR LIFE? 

Journal Entry by Geoff Allen

S – Scripture: Proverbs 10:21 (NLT)
The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.

O - Observation
I cannot impress enough the importance of having godly people in your life who can speak into yours. When going through testing and downright difficult times I have been so encouraged by words from godly people, their words have given me the strength that I felt I lacked to go on.   To me it has been a matter of survival.

A - Application
I know I have and continue to build relationships with godly people, ones that can speak into my life and even bring correction.  My encouragement is that no matter what stage in your walk of faith you are at.  Whether you are at a high point in your life, a low one or somewhere in between you and I need to make building these relationships a life priority. There is a personal investment in this and so worthy of pursuing.

P - Prayer
Let the words I speak be an encouragement to many.

LIVING PARADOXICALLY

Journal Entry by Jared Lawson

S – Scripture: Luke 9:23-24 (ESV)
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

O - Observation
When I read this passage of scripture a question came to mind - how do I lose my life? What does that look like? 

As I thought about it most of my self-focussed living (living to save my life) is based in a search for meaning, control and security. It is based in a fear that God isn’t good for the promises he’s given through his word. However, this passage says that I need to live a life that denies myself and my efforts to save my life. What is freeing is that as I choose to deny myself I know that God will take care of me - both in life and in death.

A - Application
What has always shocked me when reading the word is how much God tells us that if we take care of others, especially the poor, we are taking care of him (Proverbs 19:17, Matthew 25:40, Mark 9:37). When we lose our life for God, we lose it for the present and eternal cause of others. This may look like losing: time, finances, energy, career advancement or even your present life on earth. This is a scary concept but the comfort lies in knowing that God tells us that as we lose our life we save it.

P - Prayer
Heavenly Father, I thank you that you are the God that cares for everyone. You know what our world needs. Help us, through you, to be the solution to the problems of this world as we lean on your promises. May we be a self-denying people and remember that as we take care of others, we take care of you. In Jesus name, Amen.

LOVE LESS

Journal Entry by Jenni James

S – Scripture:  Luke 14: 26 (NLIV)
If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes and even his own life- he cannot be My disciple.

O - Observation
This verse has always been confronting to me, after all, the word ‘hate’ seems so intense! According to our Bible in One Year Devotional by Nicky Gumble ‘hate’ is actually a Semitic idiom that means to ‘love less’. Therefore, what is really being said is that we are to love Jesus above all others and so by default that means loving our family and even our own life less than Him. Interestingly this verse comes after the story of the Master inviting people to his banquet to which they all provide excuses to which they cannot attend. Every person had an excuse as to why they could not come and spend time with the Master, they all had a ‘reason’ as to why they could not prioritise sitting at the banquet. It sounds so similar to us doesn’t it, there is always something going on that could potentially stop us from prioritising Jesus. 
To be very honest I have struggled with understanding how to love Jesus more than my family, this became very apparent when I first had my kids. How do you possibly put anyone before these little bundles of gorgeousness?? However, I had an experience that turned all of that around for me. It was probably a year or so after being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and I was in a mess, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I was very depressed at not being able to function with any ounce of success, and as I lay awake in the middle of the night with no one there to help me or talk to me I suddenly got it…. my lifeline was Jesus. When no one else was there He was, when I had no one else to talk to, He was there, when everything was stripped away all I had left was Jesus. The love I felt for Him was intense. Everything else in my life could potentially come and go but Jesus. This is why I can love him more than anyone else because He is good, He is love, He never leaves us or forsakes us even when our world is falling apart, He is always, always there.  

A - Application
After my light bulb moment, I realised that every day is a choice to keep loving Jesus more and to keep placing Him first in my life. I think that is true of all of us, we all need to keep making that choice because it is so easy to get swept away in the business of life or to choose to make other things a priority like the people who did not attend the banquet. What does placing Jesus first mean for me? It means loving Him, spending time with Him, understanding Him, being guided and directed by Him, knowing His word, worshipping Him both personally and communally, communicating with Him! 

P - Prayer
Jesus, help me to choose to keep you above all others in my life again and again and again. Help me not to become distracted by other people or by other activities that take me away from you. Jesus I love you above any other. Amen .

PUTTING INTO PRACTICE

Journal Entry by Warren Mortomore

S – Scripture:  Luke 11:28 (NLT)
Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’  (NLT)

O - Observation
Jesus is saying, even more blessed than the blessing of our parents or human relationships is the blessing that comes when we hear his word, and then put it into practice – keep it!

A - Application
What am I reading, what am I hearing from His word on a daily basis – and what I am I doing with it, how am I living it, am I putting it into practice?  James backs up the words of Jesus to us in his letter (James 1:22-26) not to be just hearers only, but doers, otherwise we deceive ourselves and will not receive his blessings (1:25).  I am not to compare myself with others, what are they doing – but what His word tells me to do

P - Prayer
Help me Lord to hear from you and to live out what your are showing and telling me to do. I want to put into practice that which you are saying to me through your word.

HOPE… TRUST… WAIT…

Journal Entry by Gary and Christine Skinner

 S – Scripture: Psalm 38:15 (The Passion Translation)
“Lord, the only thing I can do is wait and put my hope in You. I wait for Your help, my God”

O - Observation
When I have done, everything I can do with my natural ability…
When my physical, mental and emotional resources are exhausted…
When I have confessed my shortcomings and wrong motives… thoughts…
When I have cried out in physical pain and mental anguish at my life situation…
God is still God!

A - Application
The past three years have been a time of severe testing of our faith in God, hoping He is in control of our life’s situation. Do we trust Him? Would He direct us into troubled waters? [See Luke 8:22 for the answer] What seemed like a simple exercise in obedience, turned into a storm of catastrophic proportions! Meanwhile, Jesus was asleep… and, just as with the disciples He knew beforehand there would be storms; He knew we would cry out to Him, and He waited… then Jesus asks the question “Have you lost your faith in Me?” [Luke 8:25] 

While the storm is not yet passed, Jesus has spoken the words “Hush! Calm down!” [Mark 4:39] Now we wait… and trust the only One who can calm the storm.

P - Prayer
Lord Jesus just as You spoke to the wind and waves of the storm on the sea, we thank You for Your intervention in the storm we face. We don’t have the solution, but You do; and, the only thing we can do is wait and put our hope in You.

REHEARSE HIS GOODNESS

Journal Entry by Esther Lawson

 S – Scripture: Deuteronomy‬ ‭2:7‬ ‭MSG‬‬
“GOD, your God, has blessed you in everything you have done. He has guarded you in your travels through this immense wilderness. For forty years now, GOD, your God, has been right here with you. You haven’t lacked one thing.”

O - Observation
The Israelites had wandered in the desert for forty years and had their every need met by God. They have been cared for, loved, guided, fed and blessed. There had been times in this wandering through the wilderness that they had been confused by their ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ but God had proven himself faithful time and time again.

A - Application
This verse encourages reflection in me. It encourages me to look back and rehearse the goodness of God to me. Even in the times that I felt overwhelmed, lost in the wilderness or uncared for. Psalm 145:5 (AMPC) says “On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wondrous works I will meditate.” Psalm‬ ‭145:5‬. God has not forgotten us, he sees us where we are and his glory and goodness is always worth meditating on and rehearsing in our minds. If you need to recalibrate and rehearse who He is to you perhaps you could take some time out today to walk, spend some time in silence and count your blessings!

P - Prayer
God thank you for your care. Thank you for all of the things you have given me. Thank you for salvation which is no small thing. Thank you for your provision, care, love and watchful eye. You work all things for my good. Amen.

THERE ARE NO IFS

Journal Entry by Liz Davila

 S – Scripture: Mark‬ ‭9:14-29 (The Message)
...17-18 A man out of the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my mute son, made speechless by a demon, to you. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn’t.”...

....23 Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

24 No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”...

O - Observation
I’m in awe. As teacher I’ve seen so many kids with different illnesses and disabilities. My heart breaks for the parents and with the parents and children. They are tough resilient they are tired. We want to help them overcome and be healed and even more so as a parent. And sometimes all we can do is bring them to Jesus. No one else can help. Everyone else has tried and failed. But the name, the all powerful Son of God, Jesus. All I can do the best thing I can do is carry you to Jesus. All I can do is pray for you and carry you to Jesus.

A - Application and Prayer
Lord teach me to pray. Lord help me know what you mean by praying and fasting for those I worry about and want to see healed, you love and care about them even more than I do. You healed those in extreme circumstances you can heal us when we ask and pray. No ifs. Please deal with my doubts and help me get beyond complacency. Help me believe what your words are for me above those from the enemy and to learn to identify them quickly. In the name above all names my compassionate Lord Jesus Christ.

THE CLOSENESS OF GOD

Journal Entry by Geoff Allen

 S – Scripture:  Psalm 34:18 (NLT)
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

O - Observation
I am so thankful for this promise.  There has been many a time in my life when I have been broken hearted and/or crushed sometimes for seemingly never-ending periods of time. Whether it be work or in my personal life.  I know this though, through it all I have seen the faithfulness of God and looking back I can see where he has moved on my behalf which is not necessarily made clear at the time. 

A - Application
For me it has been a constant pressing in through these testing times where I have grown in my faith, not pretty at the time, but It gave me the strength every day to go on.  I cannot promote how important it is to you to be responsible for your own faith walk and constantly read the bible and let it talk to you. Be planted and grow.  

P - Prayer
Lord thank that you are for me not against me, that looking back on your faithfulness it gives me the confidence and encouragement when the going gets tough.

WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO FOR YOU? SAME QUESTION, DIFFERENT ANSWER

Journal Entry by Bec Tobar

S – Scripture:  Mark‬ ‭10:36-38, 40, 51-52‬ ‭TPT‬‬
““What is it you’re wanting me to do?” he asked. “We want to sit next to you when you come into your glory,” they said, “one at your right hand and the other at your left.” Jesus said to them, “You don’t have a clue what you’re asking for! Are you prepared to drink from the cup of suffering that I am about to drink? And are you able to endure the baptism into death that I am about to experience?” “but to have you sit in the position of highest honor is not mine to decide. It is reserved for those whom grace has prepared them to have it.””

Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The man replied, “My Master, please, let me see again!” Jesus responded, “Your faith heals you. Go in peace, with your sight restored.” All at once, the man’s eyes opened and he could see again, and he began at once to follow Jesus, walking down the road with him.”
‭‭Mark‬ ‭10:36-38, 51-52‬ ‭TPT‬‬
https://www.bible.com/1849/mrk.10.36-38,51-52.tpt

O - Observation
Reading this passage this week, I couldn’t get over the fact that Jesus asked the same question twice, and got two different answers. The question was, “What do you want me to do”. The first was to his friends and disciples. They wanted status and glory. The second was to a man in need by the side of the road. The blind man wanted to see. Both answered out of the abundance of their heart’s desire. The disciples were told that they had no idea what they were asking for, and that what they were asking wasn’t his to give. But to the blind man, Jesus acknowledged his faith and healed him.

A - Application
Two things spoke to me in this passage:
1. I could almost hear Jesus asking that question to me, “What do you want me to do for you?”. Would I waste the question like the disciples had, on things that don’t matter? 
Or would I be vulnerable enough to bring my need and trust Jesus for the answer?
2. Jesus said to the disciples, that the thing they were asking for wasn’t something he could give because there was already a plan in place (as to who would sit where in heaven). I’ve prayed for things, and haven’t got the answer I would have liked. And even struggled with the thought of “why”. Jesus reminds us here that there are plans in place for eternity that have been in place before we ever asked. Maybe His no, has nothing to do with us, but all to do with a greater plan? 

P - Prayer
Thank you Lord that your word brings life to my heart and strength to my spirit. It instructs me in every season.

LOVERS OF GOD

Journal Entry by Jenni James

S – Scripture:  Psalm 25:14 The Passion Translation
There’s a private place reserved for the lovers of God, where they sit near him and receive the revelation secrets of his promises.

O - Observation
When I think of God I often think of a loving God, but this verse seems to take things to a whole new level! It describes a closeness, an intimacy,  a deep connection that is available to the “lovers of God”!! The Lord has in fact RESERVED a private place for us! He has thought ahead, he has anticipated spending quality time with us where he can share with us revelations that he wants us to know. Reading this verse reminds me of an old hymn we used to sing with this particular line in it “ours is not a distant God, remote, unfeeling”. I would sing along not really paying attention or understanding the words I was singing, but now as I read this verse those words come flooding back and I can declare that our God is not remote, He is not distant, He is closer than close!. He thinks ahead, he reserves a place just so we can sit near Him and talk intimately with Him. This is a God who truly cares and loves us.

A - Application
As a lover of God I want to carve out time to spend in that private place with just God and myself, so I need to look at my life in a practical sense. How can I carve out time? Where can I go so that I am uninterrupted? Do I need to set time periods in my diary for the whole year so that I make sure it happens? Now that we know this is what The Lord wants let’s do it! Let’s make the time, let’s sit near him, let’s be close and deeply connected and receive the revelation secrets of his promises!

P - Prayer
Father God, thank you that you want to spend deep connected time with each of us. Thank you that you place such high value on relationships and that we have this opportunity to spend this time with you. Help each of us to desire you more and more with every passing day. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

BLEMISH FREE

Journal Entry by Jared Lawson

S – Scripture:  Leviticus 1:2-3a (ESV)
Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, when any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock. If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish.

O - Observation
God was setting up his expectations with the people of Israel regarding their sacrifices. He was letting them know what was required of them, what they needed to give up. What I struck me about this scripture is the phrase ‘without blemish.’ In chapter 2 when God talks about grain offerings they are expected to bring ‘fine flour.’ God expects our best, he doesn’t expect our leftovers. They were required to bring their best to the Priests. As I reflected on this scripture I started to think about what holds me back from giving my best to God – the best of my time? the best of my money? the best of my resources? 

A - Application
Jesus tells us that if we seek his kingdom first he will take care of the rest (Matthew 6:33). I find that I can hold my best back from God because of a fear being left short: short of time, energy and resource. This verse reminds me that God requires my best and he will take care of the rest. 

P - Prayer
Heavenly Father, I thank you that you are a God who wants more for me than from me. You deserve my best because you gave your best. May I always remember the fact that you only ask for my obedience and when I give you that, you take care of the rest. I love you and trust you. In Jesus Name Amen. 

WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR HAND?

Journal Entry by Warren Mortomore

S – Scripture: Exodus 4:2  (NLT)
“The Lord said to Moses, “What do you have there in your hand?”

O - Observation
Moses was making excuses on why he couldn’t go on God’s mission to Pharaoh. I have nothing, I am not good enough, they won’t believe me, send someone else. The Lord said to him, what is that in your hand? Moses replied, “A shepherd’s staff.”

A - Application
What’s a Shepherd’s staff compared to Pharaoh and his vast army? What Moses was missing was that God takes the ordinary, such as a Shepherd’s staff/rod and uses it to perform extraordinary miracles through his power.

We can look and say as Moses did, I have nothing – but in every one of us, God has placed, gifts, abilities, talents, resources, helps, unique gifting’s,  that if we will just give them to Him, He is able through His power to do extraordinary miracles.

P - Prayer
God, forgive me for making excuses when it comes to following and obeying you. Thank you for the things you have given to me, planted in me that you want to use to see your Kingdom extended here on earth. None of us can make excuses for not using what you have given to us. You take the ordinary, and use it for your extraordinary purposes.

YOU’RE NOT ALONE

Journal Entry by Esther Lawson

S – Scripture: Exodus 8:9-11 (NLT)
“You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.” “Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said. “All right,” Moses replied, “it will be as you have said. Then you will know that there is no one like the LORD our God. The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials, and your people. They will remain only in the Nile River.”

O - Observation
Only 5 chapters ago we read Moses arguing with God over his worthiness to talk to Pharaoh. He claims he cannot speak to them, asks what to do if they don’t believe him and wonders aloud how he will explain who God is to the Egyptians. God shows him the staff with which He will do wonders and he still refuses to go (could you blames him though?). Then Moses flat out asks God to simply send someone else. God doesn’t agree to send someone else – this is still Moses’ job. He does, however, offer to send someone with him, promise to fill his mouth and let him have the staff.

A - Application
It could have been the miracle staff or the promise of God’s words that empowers Moses. It could also have been promise of company that got Moses over the line. We were not created to do hard things alone. Life is better in the presence of people who care. The company of others eases the way. We were not made to do life alone. Seek out company if you need it. Trust God to send people along your path, trust Him to give you what you need.

P - Prayer
God, thank you that you put us in community. Thank you for the people you have brought alongside us. Thank you that even when we feel alone we are not. We have the company of those with us on Earth and you in the Heavens. Help us to look out for each other as we all strive to accomplish hard things. Amen.