Saturday, January 23, 2021
“Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans . . . listing every man by name, one by one.” [Numbers 1:2]
Before leading Israel into the wilderness, God told them to count every man 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army. And “the total number was 603,550.” A census may seem boring, but we can learn some things from it.
First, it reminds us that God is faithful. God had promised that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the sand on the seashore (Genesis 22:17).
And here a census of the men able to serve in Israel’s army numbers in the hundreds of thousands—and that doesn’t include women, children, the Levites, and many others who made up the people of Israel. God had kept his promise.
The census also shows that at that time in history, God’s people needed an army to defend themselves, and when God called them to battle against his and their enemies, they needed to be prepared.
God would fight for his people and protect them, but they also needed to stand firm and show other nations that they were God’s faithful people.
The battles they fought were rooted in spiritual war between the one true God and the false gods of other nations, led by the great deceiver of all peoples—Satan, who wants to destroy us all.
Today we are still involved in spiritual war for God’s kingdom. The Christian life is a fight of faith. The devil wants us to lose hope and abandon God. But Jesus, our Savior, has defeated all our spiritual enemies. Are you fighting the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12)?
A Prayer for Today
God, you are faithful. Help us to be faithful to you, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Friday, January 22, 2021
“…None of these things move me…” (Acts 20:24)
The apostle Paul went through all kinds of unfair situations. He was falsely accused of crimes, beaten with rods, lied about, put in prison, and shipwrecked. In Acts 20, he gives us the secret of living a victorious life: “None of these things move me.”
He was saying, “Yes, there were setbacks and disappointments, but I didn’t lose my joy. God is still on the throne. Even being put in prison gave me the opportunity to write about half of the books of the New Testament.”
There’s always something trying to move us, to pull us out of peace, to pull us out of rest. Are you allowing these things to move you? You can’t pray them away. These are tests we all have to pass. Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled.”
He said troubles will be there, but you don’t have to be moved by them. Stay in peace. Quit letting these things ruin your day.
A Prayer for Today
Father, thank You that I don’t have to be moved by the tests and troubles I face because I know that You are still on the throne. My faith and trust are in You and Your mighty power at work in my life. I declare that You will work Your good plan for my future. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
“…I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world…” (John 17:14)
The Scripture speaks of how we are in the world, but we are not of the world. You may be in a limited environment, but you don’t have to be of it. Don’t let that environment get in you.
If you see struggle, lack, and poverty long enough, your mind can become conditioned to thinking, This is who I am. I’ll never have enough. No, that’s where you are, that’s not who you are. That may be what’s been normal. The good news is, you’re a barrier breaker.
Some people try to put you in a box. They’ll tell you such things as, “You’ll never afford a nice house, never get well, never meet the right person.” Because their thinking is limited, they’ll try to put their limitations on you.
You have to put your foot down and say, “I refuse to be mediocre because people around me are mediocre. I am a barrier breaker. I’m going to set a new standard.”
A Prayer for Today
Father, thank You that You didn’t create me to be average or to live a mediocre life. Thank You that You’ve given me the power, the favor, and the talent to break out and go further than the limitations around me. I believe that I am a barrier breaker, and I will set a new standard. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.