Silence and Centering
Lord, hear my prayer, and listen when I ask for mercy.
Eternal and loving Father, You comfort, support, and encourage us. Your goodness and kindness go beyond our understanding. Your grace is richer and deeper than we can begin to comprehend. Yet despite Your gracious love and faithful care, we seek to go our own way and to trust our own resources. Time after time, we choose our plans over Your will. Over and over again, our pride, self-reliance, and self-centeredness lead us astray. We confess we are sinners in need of forgiveness. We admit we are flawed, broken people in need of mercy. Through the person and work of Jesus Christ, forgive us for all the times we have failed You. Cleanse our hearts, and make them fresh and new.Renew our minds for Your Kingdom’s sake. Empower us to be Your Son’s disciples for His glory. We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
Reading & Devotional:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Creator God in his infinite wisdom and love chose to create mankind knowing full well that we would choose our ways over his. We’re made with a terrible capacity to live out of our own strength. As a result, we see in both Scripture and our own lives incredible failures—examples of our collective weakness played out before our very eyes. We see it in the declining morality of society. We see it in the very lives of those around us that just can’t seem to get it together. Weakness seems to be threaded into the very fabric of our world. The world is plagued by the weakness of those who inhabit it.
But, the Bible also contains incredible stories of the victories of God’s people. The list goes on and on: Moses and the Egyptians, David and Goliath, Samson and the Philistines, and the early church spreading the gospel across the world despite insurmountable odds. And along with all the stories of victory, Scripture also contains many stories of failure. So, what made the difference? What separates the stories of success from the stories of failure? The difference is found in the people of God allowing God to be their strength. Success in Scripture came solely when God was made strong in man’s weakness.
Psalm 103:13-14 says, “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” God created us. He knows our weakness. He knows that apart from him we can do nothing. But the beauty of the gospel is that as believers we are no longer apart from him. Through the death of Jesus, we are now one with Christ, wrapped up in his story of redemption. We have been saved from having to do life on our own, in our own strength.
Your heavenly Father says to you today, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). Your God is the same God of David, Samson, Paul, and John. The success that they had was the direct result of their choosing God’s strength over their own. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Paul chose to boast of his weakness because he knew of the steadfast strength of God in his own life. He knew that his success was solely by the strength of his God.
Your heavenly Father promises his strength to you today. Just as he worked to help Paul spread the gospel, just as he helped David slay the giant Goliath, he desires to help you today in whatever lies ahead. Acknowledge your weakness but at the same time, hold fast to the the knowledge of the incredible strength of your heavenly Father. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “He will not leave you or forsake you.” The strength of God is always with you. All you have to do is choose his ways over your own. Live in light of the revelation of your own weakness and God’s strength, and you will experience the power of the Creator of the universe working directly in your own life.
Where do you need God’s strength? What area of your life seems to be plagued by weakness? Ask God to work in your life, and experience the fruit of co-laboring with your heavenly Father today.
Devotional By First15
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.