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.

GOD’S PRESENCE

Journal Entry by Geoff Allen

S – Scripture: Psalm 16:8 (NLT)
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

O - Observation
The Passion Translation says “Because you are close to me and always available, my confidence will never be shaken, for I experience your wrap around presence every moment.” I love both of these translations the NLT speaks strength and ability to stand in the face of circumstances because of the recognition of God’s presence with him and the TPT talks about experiencing Gods wrap around presence every moment - like a Dad’s hug or snuggling with mum or even under a blanket, but so much more. A feeling of security something that can only come from the king of kings and the lord of lords.

A - Application
I know I have a constant and growing need to have a relationship with Jesus where I can stand, not because of my own ability (because the longer I live I realise not matter how strong a feel I am – I am not) I need the ongoing experience of God’s wrap around presence every day of my life. It doesn’t just happen - I have to seek it even though its freely available all the time, and I guess the more trials I walk through the more I recognise the need for His presence in my life.

P - Prayer
Help me Lord let me know your presence in my life more and more each day.

ASK HIM

Journal Entry by Sara Gebran

S – Scripture: Jeremiah 33: 3 (NLT)
“Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.’’

O - Observation
Reading this verse tells me that the Lord wants to talk with me and tell me secrets I don’t know about, it almost sounds like God is challenging me to ask!
Life is so busy and time goes by so fast before I realise I haven’t given time to seek the Lord and see what He thinks or says about the situation or problem.

A - Application
I need to remind myself that the Lord is asking me to come sit by his side and lean into Him and listen to the secrets He wants to share with me and show me!. I admit this may be difficult at times but with His help and my willingness He will make a way. He is more than willing to share with me not for my benefit but for His Glory. 

P - Prayer
Dear Lord I pray you help me to lean in and listen to what you want to share with me, help to be sensitive to your call and your voice, help me to bold and ask you, in Jesus name I pray. Amen.

SUFFICIENCY SO THAT I DON’T DISOWN OR DISHONOUR GOD.

Journal Entry by Paul Davila

S – Scripture: Proverbs 30:7-9  (NIV)
“Two things I ask of you, LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

O - Observation
The writer makes a great couple of comments in these few verses about provision.
He is echoing some of the things Jesus would say hundreds and hundreds of years later about where our provision comes from and trusting in God for all that we need.
Jesus said it in the Lord’s prayer, “give us this day our daily bread…”
Agur discovered this principle way back then. 

Q: Why did he have this attitude towards God’s provision?
A: Because he realised something very important:
1.    Having too much may cause him to disown God.
2.    Having too little may cause him to dishonour God.

A - Application
 The lesson here is to trust God for what we need for everyday living. There is a balanced and wise approach to money, resources and provision that Agur is teaching us.
We need money to survive, yet as believers, we need to find a happy medium between knowing how much is enough versus struggling financially. 
There is no numerical figure involved here. The key is making sure that what we do have, that we don’t disown God or dishonour Him.

P - Prayer
Thank you for this beautiful insight today Lord. Help me to take this same attitude so that my reliance is on your provision for my life and my family’s. Help me to be content and have a healthy and balanced approach to money and wealth. I ask this in Jesus name. 

PUTTING GOD IN 1st PLACE

Journal Entry by Warren Mortomore

S – Scripture: Genesis 1:1 (NKJV)
‘In the beginning God.’

O - Observation
Everything commences with God, by God and for God.

A - Application
This one short line determines my destiny.  Does God have 1st place in my heart, my life, my family, my decisions, my finances, my plans?  By placing God in 1st place at the beginning of this year, I am saying that I cannot make it without you, I need you, I submit to you, and I ask for your wisdom in everything I am called to do as a husband, father, man, leader.

P - Prayer
Lord Jesus, I honour You, and at the start of this new year, I surrender to you and ask you to be the Lord of my life. Have 1st place in my heart.  I declare that I cannot make it through today, let alone this year without You.  I begin this year with You at the center of my life. I ask for your blessing and favour on my life, my family, my finances, my future and my church.

TRIUMPHANT  PRAISE

Journal Entry by John and Jann Rice

S – Scripture: Psalm 149 : 1-4 ( TPT )
Hallelujah ! Praise the Lord !

It's time to sing to God a brand new song, so that all His holy people will hear how wonderful He is! May Israel be entrusted with joy because of Him, and may the sons of Zion pour out their joyful praises to their King.

Break forth with dancing! Make music and sing God's praises with the rhythm of drums! For He enjoys His faithful lovers He adorns the humble with His beauty and He loves to give them victory.

O - Observation
God loves us to be creative in our worship and to sing fresh expressions of love and joy to extol our wonderful King. David loved to dance before the Lord and make music, to be adorned with His beauty, living in victory.

A - Application
Don't be hesitant to be expressive in our Praise and Worship, we have a Wonderful Saviour, King, Deliverer who delights in His faithful lovers, to adorn us with His beauty and gives us victory in life's challenges.

P - Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father I thank you for the joy you put in my heart and the song upon my lips as I think of how awesome you are, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and it is with great joy and thankfulness that I am able to come before you with praise in my heart, as a Church Family united in purpose we push back the powers of darkness from our city with Songs of Praise to our God. Amen.

BY YOUR SIDE

Journal Entry by Chris Watling

S – Scripture: Psalm 145:18  (NIV)
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 

O - Observation
I would like God by my side in all areas of my life, relationships, finances, work, health etc.. but is He? As this verse says, the Key to have Him by your side is to call on Him. Most of my life I rely on my own strength and can get easily caught in just going through life rather than looking to God. I often have God as my emergency/backup plan.

A - Application
To have God by my side, I need to remember to put Him first, to call on him in prayer in all areas and times not just when I think I need some emergency help.

P - Prayer
Jesus I pray that I would put you first in all areas of my life, I need you by my side as I walk through life and I pray that I would be reminded to call on You not just in times of need but in all areas of my life.

HEAD GAMES

Journal Entry by Jared Lawson

S – Scripture: Psalm 140:7 ESV
O Lord, my Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.

O - Observation
This psalm begins as a cry for help; the exact wording is “Deliver me O lord from evil men.” The Psalmist spends the next five verses asking God for help. Then there is a shift - a turn from request to remembrance. The Psalmist stops and remembers who God is and what he’s done in the past. In battle, according to Benjamin Weiss, Kings and Princes had a soldier next to them who would protect their head from arrows. It was their task. I love that the Psalmist knows that God will do the same for him.

A - Application
Remembrance is the first step. The Psalmist was not out of the battle during the time this Psalm was written. Most of the verse is written in present tense, but in the verse above we can see that the Psalmist is talking about past events. The Psalmist requests God for help but doesn’t stop there, he rehearses what he has done for him in the past.

P - Prayer
Heavenly Father, I thank you for your kindness and love. When I am in the middle of a battle, feeling anxious or concerned, help me to remember who you are and what you’ve done. May that fill me with confidence not in myself but in you and your ability to pull me through. I love you and trust you. In Jesus name Amen.

DESPERATE… AM I!!! OR IS IT… AM I?

Journal Entry by Gary and Christine Skinner

S – Scripture: Psalm 139:17-18 (The Passion Translation)
“Every single moment You Are thinking of me! How precious and wonderful to consider that You cherish me constantly in Your every thought! O God, Your desires toward me are more than the grains of sand on every shore! When I awake each morning, You’re still with me.”

O - Observation
In our last devotional [When Life Gets Too Much] we wrote of when “the busyness of life overloads our earthly minds and we allow thoughts, ideas, facts and figures to chase themselves in circles inside our heads”. How then can we believe that God would think of “me” when the earth’s population is 7.6677724….. Billion people? It’s inconceivable! Yet, He can, and He does because His word says so, and He can’t tell a lie.

A - Application
The question is, do I believe God is thinking of me right now, in the cacophony of noise that is banging around in my head with the circumstances of life that I am facing today? Or, is it “what is God thinking, letting me face this situation?” It is in these desperate times I “choose” to believe God “You’re still with me.” 

P - Prayer
Lord God Almighty, You calmed the storm when Jesus spoke “Peace, be still!” [Mark 4:39] Calm the storm in my life today. Thank You for being with me each morning as I awake, in Jesus name.