Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your judgments are like the great deep;
You save humans and animals alike, O Lord.
The psalmist, David, declares to God that his love, faithfulness, righteousness, and judgments are beyond the power and understanding of humans. As we see God at work in, through, and among his people, we are humbled by the way He pours Himself out without limits.
- Where do you need to experience the love and faithfulness of God today?
- How easy is it for you to receive the unconditional love and faithfulness of God?
- To whom do you need to reflect God’s character to today? What does that look like?
Gracious God, help us to lift our eyes to you and to your extraordinary love for us that is beyond comprehension. Thank you that your love, faithfulness, righteousness and judgments overcome any work done by humans. Give us a heart to receive your character and to then reflect it to our world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
These verses are filled with promise and invitation, to find refuge in God and be filled with all we need from his overflowing reserves. It is easy at times to think that God’s love and provision is scarce and in need of being hoarded or earned. But God invites us to experience his love and provision each day, like manna, satisfied today and full of trust that what we need will be there tomorrow as well.
- What about God are you tempted to hoard, for fear that there isn’t enough to go around?
- How does it feel to find refuge in the shadow of God’s wings?
- Who do you think of when you read, “all people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”?
Gracious God, thank you for your audacious and trustworthy promises for love and safety and provision. Help us to live into the truth of your invitation, believing that there is more than enough of your riches to go around, and wholeheartedly sharing what you give us with others.
Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3 He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. 5 Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
- What surprises you about the instructions that Jesus gave his disciples?
- What opportunities do you have to bring healing to others?
- Where is Jesus inviting you to proclaim the kingdom of God in word and deed?
Lord Jesus, as we follow you to the cross, give us the courage to step into the places you have called us, knowing that you are with us and will provide for us. Thank you for bringing others into our lives to share the journey of discipleship with. Help us to be faithful to your call on our lives. In Your name, Amen.
7 Now Herod the ruler heard about all that had taken place, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, 8 by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. 9 Herod said, “John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he tried to see him.
- Where do you see God at work in ways that may be perplexing to those who don’t know Him?
- How does your life reflect the work of God in a way that makes others wonder about who He is?
- What does it look like to follow Jesus in a way that keeps you from blending in with the status quo?
Lord Jesus, thank you that you are continuing to work in, through, and among us in ways that cause others to be curious about you. As you work in our lives, help us to look to you for our daily needs and direction so that you will be glorified in all we do and say. Amen.
On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done. He took them with him and withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.
- What words are used to describe Jesus’ actions in these verses?
- When have you experienced Jesus’ loving actions toward you?
- How do you see yourself in partnership with Jesus?
Jesus, thank you for the opportunity we have to be your witnesses in the world, and to find rest in you as well. Give us a sensitivity to your leading that we might know when to rest and when to step into your work as a participant in what you are doing in the world. Amen.