Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green. (Psalm 92:14)
I will be your God throughout your lifetime—
until your hair is white with age.
I made you, and I will care for you.
I will carry you along and save you. (Isaiah 46:4)
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! (Psalm 103:5)
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30,31)
I looked at Mark’s goatee the other day and was amazed! It is getting whiter and whiter. I accidentally took a selfie early this morning when I meant to send our son a picture of our puppy, and I was even more amazed – make that slightly mortified! We are growing old! Oh my, the world has dictated a lie to us all, and the lie is this: only youth is valuable; the elderly must be put out to pasture. By no means will we buy into that lie! Old age has immense merit – we have unearthly wisdom that the whole world can benefit from. Come on, all you middle-aged friends and seniors! Let’s rejoice in God’s promise to us who are climbing the ladder of time, to us whose youth is renewed, to us who are growing more and more fruitful with age, to us who live vibrant lives that are full of meaning and joy!
I give you thanks and praise for your promises to me as I age. With your presence in my life, I will still be productive, every day of my life until you take me home! And everyday I’m here you will care for me with your watchful eye. You will carry me through every triumph and every trial. Thank you that you are giving me a satisfying life that is filled with good things every day. You are opening my eyes to the good things around me, and gratitude is becoming my habitual response to your blessing! Thank you that I can outrun the youngsters around me, setting a standard for what a strong life looks like, a life dedicated to you in obedience. Thank you that with your everlasting help, I can soar over every circumstance of life!
In Jesus, the Lord of my life, Amen!
And everyone who has given up houses…for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. (Mark 19:29)
Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. (1 Peter 4:9)
“Anyone who comes to me I will never drive away.” ~Jesus
Father, You have given me a house that has become my refuge. Sometimes I find it difficult to share, but your Word directs me to give things away liberally. Today I am giving you my home. If there is a weary soul who needs a respite, may they find it cozy here. If there is a lost soul who needs a bed, may they find an anchor here. If there is a soul who is living in chaos, may they find in my home a place of solace.
Give me patience when my home gets messy. After all, what did you give it to me for in the first place? A museum of collectibles or fine things? A sterile environment that makes no one feel at ease? No. A home is to be used, lived in, loved in, offered and given up for others. Take my home, Lord, it is yours. If any of your children need it tonight, please let them find me.
Jesus, you are most hospitable. You receive everyone who comes to you in need. Make me more like you.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Who is as blind as my own people, my servant?
Who is as deaf as my messenger?
Who is as blind as my chosen people,
the servant of the Lord?
You see and recognize what is right
but refuse to act on it.
You hear with your ears,
but you don’t really listen. (Isaiah 42:19,20)
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. (James 1:22)
Church-goers are in great danger of missing the obvious. We know from experience. As second-generation believers, both Mark and I grew up going to church three times a week. We memorized verses and knew how to navigate our way around the Bible in order to win every Sunday School contest our teachers threw at us. We have read the Bible almost every day of our lives, yet there were major areas in our lives – blind spots – where we were merely hearers, not do-ers. (Mark was dumb and I was dumber.) Thank God the Lord got ahold of us and changed our hearts and transformed our minds!
Please forgive me for being blind, deaf and dumb – glazing over whole areas in the Word that I have avoided obeying out of pride and ignorance. Please open my eyes and ears to your Word. Make me aware of the ways I have immunized myself to really allowing your Word to change my habits, mind-set, and daily routines. I have excused whole areas of weakness in my life, yet I have been very hard on others who are weak. I ask you for forgiveness. I am determined to believe the Good News that you are changing me from the inside out as I learn to listen and obey!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Sow for yourselves according to righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God); reap according to mercy and loving-kindness. Break up your uncultivated ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, to inquire for and of Him, and to require His favor, till He comes and teaches you righteousness and rains His righteous gift of salvation upon you. (Hosea 10:12)
The prophet Hosea has a wonderful plan for our day today. It is this:
1. Scatter acts of goodness, doing the right and appropriate thing in each situation we face. This will result in reaping heaps of lovely things!
2. Break up the ground of the areas in our lives that are dormant and unproductive. Simply put: make changes to the zones in our lives that are dried up and not working. Do the hard work of repentance – breaking up that dry ground, watering it, and sowing those seeds of righteousness!
3. Seek the Lord, ask Him for wisdom, favor and right living until He comes and showers it on you!
I am seeking and asking for your wisdom and favor on my life today. I will do my part of tending the garden of my soul to make it fruitful, enriched, weed-free, and overflowing with provision for all around me.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen