God Disperses the People + Psalm 16

Read Through the Bible in 2 Years: Genesis 11, Psalm 16

Remember when God told Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Well, Noah’s family multiplied, but they didn’t want to spread out to fill the earth. They didn’t want to be dispersed. They wanted to stay in one place and make a name for themselves.

But God …

Like we read yesterday about God’s sovereign purpose and wisdom in the lives of Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, God again carries out His good plan of mankind filling the earth. God confused the people’s language … for their good and His glory!

Can you image how that must have felt to suddenly not be able to communicate with your own family and friends? I’m sure that was very frustrating! It reminds me of the times I’ve spent in China, Hungary, and Russia.

But God …

I’m so thankful that God scattered those first people all over the world, and so thankful that God sovereignly ordained for Christians to be scattered all over the world so people from every tribe and tongue might know and worship Him — we’ll get to that again later but if you can’t wait take a peek at Acts 8:1-4 for a taste of how persecution caused the early believers in Christ to be scattered.

Let’s praise the Lord together from Psalm 16 –

Preserve me, O God. I take refuge in You.

You are my Lord. I have no good apart from You.

Protect us from the dangers and sins or running after other gods.

Lord, You are my chosen portion and my cup.

You hold my lot. You are my inheritance.

Even when things seem bad to me, You are working in my life, bringing good out of the ashes.

I bless You, Lord, for You are the One who gives me counsel.

You are always before me.

Because You are at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Strengthen me to turn to You when I don’t know what to do.

Strengthen me to trust and obey Your every word.

In You my heart is glad and my whole being rejoices.

In You my flesh dwells secure.

In You there is fullness of joy.

In You are pleasures forevermore.

You are my hope and life.

You will not abandon me.

You have made known to me the path of LIFE.

You are all I need.

Be glorified in me.

In the powerful and good Name of Jesus, Amen.

Give Me Jesus

Being Fruitful and Multiplying

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Psalm 14, Genesis 8:1-9:17

"The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." 
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.
The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one."
- Psalm 14:1-3
"And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth." - Genesis 9:1

Despite God’s recognition that the “intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth,” God commanded Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. In fact, God repeated this command a second time. (Genesis 8:21, 9:1, 7)

Note that this command was directed at the men in the family, not the women. Women can’t have babies on their own. We need willing husbands in order to bear children. Both husbands and wives should be willing vessels for the blessings that the Lord wants to send to us.

Sisters, let’s not be like fools who think, say, or live like there is no God. Rather, let us receive with open hands, homes, and wombs the children that the Lord desires for us. As Christians, we should recognize the incredible gift that every child is, whether by adoption or conception.

We must also be fruitful and multiply the kingdom of God by training up our children in the way they should go. As mothers, we can be powerful disciple makers, bringing our children to the throne of God morning, noon, and night. Don’t underestimate the incredible impact of a humble, praying mother.

As my years of child bearing have ended, and this new season of grandmothering has begun, I pray that I’ll continue to live a fruitful, multiplying life – encouraging and serving my children as parents, teaching my grandchildren the ways of the Lord, and making disciples in my everyday life.

How can you lead a fruitful, multiplying life? I’d love to hear your comments.

Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father,

You are a good Father who loves to give good gifts to Your children. Thank you for the precious gift it is to be a mother.

I pray that you would bless each of my children with children in Your perfect timing.

For those who are single, I pray that they will use this time to glorify You with their minds and lives, making the most of these days.

For those who are married and anxiously praying for a child, I pray that You will help them to wait well. I ask You, Lord, to give them children – by conception or adoption – fill their homes with the next generation of disciples of Christ.

For those who are married and in the thick of motherhood, I pray they will learn to cast all their cares on You, fully trusting that You care for them. I pray that You would make them fruitful and multiply and to receive each gift that you have ordained for them. I pray their husbands would desire the gift of children and be faithful servant leaders.

For those empty nesters and grandmothers, I pray they will use their time well, living reverent lives, teaching and serving well the younger women. Make them prayer warriors and arm-lifters and godly examples for those who are following in their footsteps.

In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

When Your Children are Walking in Truth

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: 2 John and 3 John

Once again John doesn’t sign his own name, but this time, he’s simply “the elder.” What a sweet title to give himself.

Once again John talks about TRUTH and LOVE – twin pillars on which the gospel rests. Jesus is the truth. The truth abides in the elect and will be with us forever (2 John 2). God’s grace, mercy, and peace will be with us in truth and love. (2 John 3).

"I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father." - 2 John 1:4 ESV
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." - 3 John 1:4 ESV

John rejoiced greatly at the good news that the elder woman’s children were walking in the truth and that his own children were walking in the truth. What greater joy is there? Whether it’s the children I’ve raised in my own house, or children I’ve discipled in the faith, or grown women I’ve walked with and helped them grow, what JOY it is to watch them walk in truth!

Who are you discipling? Who are your children in the faith? Who are you watching grow and walk in truth?

Everyone should have someone who they can pour into. You don’t have to wait until you’re an elder like John. Learn a little, teach a little. The walk is always nicer when you have someone to share it with. You’ll be amazed at how much it blesses YOU, how much JOY you receive, when you’re teaching someone else. How can I help you?

Will you pray with me?

Heavenly Father,

We pray that You will use us to equip the body for the work of ministry. Help us to work together with arms linked as one to grow Your church. Help us to be disciple makers, scattering seeds where we go and helping those little seedlings grow into mighty trees of righteousness that bear much fruit.

We pray for those who are young in their faith and that those elders will come alongside them to encourage them and minister to them. We pray for those who are elders in the faith to not lose heart or quit the fight. Help them to finish the race well, pouring out the last drop of their lives in the service of their king.

We pray for the children that are still in our homes. Lord, strengthen us to strengthen them. Draw them into a living relationship with You that they will walk in truth and love to the glory of Your name.

In the Name of Jesus we pray,

Amen.

When Not Seeing is Believing

Read through the Bible in 2 years: John 20

"Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.”

But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” - John 20:24-29 ESV

As an atheist, I refused to believe in anything I couldn’t see with my eyes.

Now I see the many contradictions in my own worldview. Why did I believe my world history teacher when she taught about things that happened hundreds of years ago? Why did I believe my chemistry teacher when he taught about how chemical elements worked?

Now I see the irony in my faith in evolution – how that was as much a leap of faith as faith in Jesus is – but at the time I believed that the images of fossils and ape men I’d seen in my science textbooks and on TV were “scientific proof” of evolution.

Reading John 20, I noticed how John and Peter and Mary and Thomas believed because they saw.

I have such empathy for Thomas when I think about how much he had just been through. He just couldn’t fully trust his friends’ testimonies when they said, “We have seen the Lord.”

Judas, a fellow apostle, had just betrayed Jesus. Jesus, their messiah, had just been publicly beaten and executed on a Roman cross. And now Thomas has to figure out what is next for his life. How can you be a full-time disciple of someone who’s dead? Is this whole “Jesus is risen from the dead” thing real or just a hoax?

So Thomas demands, “Unless I see in his hands, the mark of the nails and place my finger into the mark of the nails and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Strong words. Strong demands. It’s not enough just to see the mark of the nails on Jesus’s hands. He has to place his own finger in those nail-pierced hands and place his own hand on His spear-pierced side. Merely seeing, apparently, is not believing, either.

Oh, that Jesus then appeared to the disciples again when Thomas was there … And went directly to Thomas and give him what he had requested.

How is it possible? Why didn’t Jesus rebuke him? How can Jesus say, “Put your finger here. See my hands. Place your hand on my side”?

Such grace. Such mercy. Such love.

Will you pray with me?

Jesus, we are not worthy. I am not worthy. Thomas was not worthy. We cry with Thomas, my Lord and my God.

Jesus, You are not only our Messiah and Savior and Lord, but you are God. This is the gift of faith, the precious, priceless gift to those who have not seen and yet believed.

Remembering the words of Hebrews 11:1, that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, We ask that you will open our eyes to have faith to be sure what we hope for and fully convinced of the things that we have not seen, but what we have read in your word. Help us to believe these eyewitness testimonies that have been passed down and preserved for us. Help us to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, that by believing we may have eternal life in his name.

In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, Amen

Prayer for a Child at College

Read through the Bible in 2 years: John 17

How amazing it is to hear Jesus pray to His Holy, Righteous Father. Surely if He needed to pray, so do I! To read Jesus praying for His disciples, praying for the Father to protect them, encourages me to pray for those that I disciple, especially my children.

"I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one." - John 17:15 ESV

Today my third-born child begins her second semester of college. I guess that’s why John 17:15 really jumped out at me. She has been homeschooled her whole life. Except for two years at a neighborhood church preschool and the occasional tutorial class, she has grown up under my watchcare. I have done my best to shelter her from the evil one, but I know that whether home or away, we all need the Lord to protect us from the schemes of the evil one.

Ultimately, the safest place any of us can be is in the Father’s will – whether that’s in your mama’s house or on the streets of Memphis, Tennessee or in a community college classroom.

Let’s pray together for our children.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the precious gift that it is to be a mother and the precious gift that this specific child is to me. Thank You for all the ways that I see Jesus in her. Thank You for her meek and gentle spirit which reminds me to be meek and gentle.

I pray that You will be glorified in her today. So many people never crack open a Bible or step foot in a church, so I pray that they will see You in her. Make her a city on a hill that points people to You. Make her an imitator of God as Your beloved child, walking in love as Christ loved her and gave Himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Protect her from the schemes and temptations of the evil one, so that Your light can shine brightly out of her like a million-watt lightbulb. Remind her of the Word that has been poured into her over the years she has spent in my home. Help her to hear your voice whispering – or shouting – in her head, “This is the way; walk in it.” Send Your Holy Spirit to be her counselor and guide, showing her which way to go and which way not to go. Send Your Holy Spirit to be her comforter and advocate, so that she will not give way to fear, but will remember, “I am a child of the Lord of heaven’s armies. What can man do to me?”

When she is tempted to hide her light under a bushel, convict her. Remind her that she belongs to You and that You are her ever-present help in time of need. Help her to call out to You and to trust You when she feels afraid or discouraged or lonesome. Help her to remember that You are always with her, and that You have promised to never leave her or forsake her.

In the good and righteous name of Jesus we pray,

Amen

A New Commandment

Read through the Bible in 2 years: John 13

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." John 13:34 ESV

When Jesus knew that His hour had come to give up His life and return to his Father, He didn’t look to a bucket list of “Top 100 Things to Do Before You Die.” No, he washed His disciples’ feet. The most important thing to Him before His death was to leave an example of true love for His followers.

He gives them this “new commandment” – a very old commandment actually, but made even more difficult by the addition of “JUST AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.” It’s really, really hard to love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:31) This takes supernatural power. But to love others sacrificially as Jesus did – washing your friends’ feet, your students’ feet, even your betrayer’s feet – and even to lay down your own life for someone else, this is impossible apart from being born again, having a new will and new power working in you. (Philippians 2:13)

Will you please pray with me for the Lord to give you this strength?

Heavenly Father, I confess to you how hard it is for me to love others as myself, and even how impossible it is for me to love others as you have loved me. Help me to remember that what is impossible for man is possible for God. Nothing is impossible for you. I can do this because you give me strength.

Help me to remember that You loved me while I was a sinner, your enemy. You ran after me while I was running away from you.

Help me to feel that kind of love for others and to express that kind of love toward others. Help me to pursue others like you pursued me. Help me to serve others like you served me. Help me to see the need of other people as greater than my own need.

Jesus, you are my perfect example of being a servant. Help me to consider others more highly than myself. Help me to serve my family and my friends, people who love me. Help me to serve my children and my students, people who are under my authority. Help me to serve the stranger and alien and even my enemy, remembering that you loved me when I was a stranger and alien and even Your enemy.

In the strong and kind name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Our Good Shepherd

Read Through the Bible in Two Years: Psalm 8; Proverbs 1:20-33; John 10

"O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" - Psalm 8:1a and Psalm 8:9 ESV

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" - Psalm 8:3-4 ESV

Yesterday we read John 9:35, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Jesus is the Son of Man and Son of God. Fully God and fully man. How awesome are His works – to create the heavens for man to see – and also to create man to see them!

"So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.... The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:7, 10 ESV

This reminds me of when I was a child and our house was broken into. A thief took a baseball bat from our front porch and smashed the panel of glass in our front door so he could enter. Thieves come to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came that we may have abundant life. Jesus is Himself the door for the sheep. If we want to meet the Father, we must come through Jesus, the only door. We can’t break our way in. There is no secret back entrance. Jesus is the only way. No man comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep." - John 10:11-15 ESV

Jesus isn’t just any ol’ shepherd. Jesus is the good shepherd. Jesus isn’t just a hired hand who is getting paid to watch the sheep like “Little Boy Blue” or “The Boy who Cried Wolf.” Jesus is the good shepherd who willingly laid down His life for His sheep.

One of the most compelling reasons I have to believe that the Bible is true is that Jesus’s disciples were willing to be martyred for their faith. If they had known they were preaching a lie, would they have been willing to die for their faith? I don’t think so.

Jesus, too, was willing to die for His testimony that He was the Son of God, and Jesus was willing to die for us, His lost sheep who needed a good shepherd to rescue them.

Jesus is such a good shepherd. He doesn’t drive His sheep; He leads His sheep. He goes out front and says, “Follow me.”

Are we good shepherds of our children and those we are shepherding? Do we go first and say, “Follow me?” Or do we stand in the rear (or sit on the couch) yelling and pointing, “Do this! Do that! Don’t go that way! You’re doing it wrong! Don’t you hear me?”

"Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." - John 10:25-27 ESV

Jesus both spoke compelling truths and did compelling signs in the presence of thousands of witnesses, so that His sheep would believe that He truly was the Son of God and Savior of the World. Yet, many did not believe? Why? Because they were not among Jesus’s sheep. They couldn’t understand what Jesus was saying. They couldn’t believe what Jesus was doing. They weren’t His sheep.

It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

So, just like you don’t expect a chicken or a hamster to understand you, don’t be surprised when some people don’t understand God’s Word – or you. If someone is still in the darkness, they truly can’t see what you’re talking about. Like those Jewish men who heard Jesus’s words, “I and the Father are one,” and rather than worshipping Him they accused Him of blasphemy, saying “you, being a man, make yourself God.” (John 10:30, 33). It’s like Proverbs 1, which I also read today, wisdom cries aloud in the streets and markets, yet the people do not hear. Instead they close their ears and scoff, ignoring wisdom’s counsel and reproof.

Instead of being angry with these simple scoffers and fools, let’s humbly pray for them, remembering that we once we blind, too. Just like you shouldn’t be angry with a chicken or a hamster when it doesn’t do what you tell it to, don’t be angry when a friend can’t understand what you’re talking about. Instead, let’s always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks, correcting our opponents with gentleness and respect. (See 2 Timothy 2:24-26 and 1 Peter 3:14-17)

Will you pray with me?

Lord God,

Thank You for opening my eyes and calling me into Your flock. Help me to always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in me and to do it with gentleness and respect. Help me to be patient and kind to those who are still in the darkness. Give me a humble and grateful heart.

Help me to hear Your voice crying above the noise of the world saying, “This is the way. Walk in it.” Give me eyes to see the door and the straight and narrow path to it.

Thank You for sending the Good Shepherd, the Perfect Shepherd, to lay down His life for me. Help me to be willing to lay down my life for my friends – and for my enemies. Give me the wisdom I need to discern the enemy’s voice and let me not be deceived by the devil’s lies and schemes.

Help me to remember that Jesus who is my Good Shepherd who says again and again, “Follow me.” Jesus came to earth, taking on flesh, being the Son of God and Son of Man, that we could know You and follow You because we know Him and follow Him.

In the Name of Our Good Shepherd I pray. Amen.

Our Righteous Judge

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Psalm 7; Proverbs 1:19; John 8

It was interesting today to read Psalm 7. Along with John 8. Psalm 7:8 says” The Lord judges the peoples; judge me, oh Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.” Then verse 11a says, “God is a righteous judge.”

I was thinking about how unrighteous I am. Like my favorite Bible verse, Romans 5:8, says, “God shows his love for us and that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And like 1 Peter 3: 18a says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous.”

God is righteous and I am unrighteous and in need of his forgiveness. Yet, as a Christian, I should not just continue in sin because Christ will forgive me. Rather, as Psalm 7 encourages me, I am called to live a life of righteousness and integrity.

So when I got to John eight and read the story of the adulterous woman, I was encouraged in this truth again. On Jesus says in John 8:11b, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on send no more.”

God is completely full of grace and mercy, but god is also holy and righteous. As His children and followers, we must not just “continue in sin that his grace may abound.” (More on this when we get to Romans 6.)

I found it particularly interesting that John 8:7, 9, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her…” “and they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones.”

The older I get, the more I recognize my own sin. As a young believer I thought I was so mature. God had changed me so much and brought me out of darkness and into light, but I still had so much to learn. Now I know the word well, and I know all the more what a terrible sinner I am. So many of my obvious, external sins are gone (by God’s grace!) but those inward sins of pride and malice and covetousness lurk beneath the surface.

And then to jump to the end of John 8, verses 58-59a, “Jesus said to him, ‘ truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was, I am. So they picked up stones to throw at him…”

Whoa. Clearly these men thought that Jesus had committed blasphemy, calling himself God, when he said that he was the eternal one who had existed before Abraham. I hope you’ll remember this when we read the stories of Abraham and Moses in Genesis and Exodus. Remember what we read in John 1, Jesus was with God in the beginning and all things were made through Him. He is God in the flesh. The Pharisees knew it and so should we.

Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father, You are God alone. You are the truth. Every word of God proves true. You are a shield to those who take refuge in You.

Hide us in the shelter of your wings. Help us to “go and sin no more.” Help us to hear You and follow You.

We pray that we would come into the light that our works would be exposed, and we would be laid bare before you – that we would repent, turning away from our sins and turning to Jesus, the eternal god in human flesh.

Help us to recognize our own sin and our own need for a savior. Help us to be among those who do not throw stones at our fellow sinners, but instead point them to the One who came that we would have life to the full.

Satan is indeed a liar. He came to steal and kill and destroy. He is the prince of this world, the king of darkness. Help us to rescue those who are held in his snare.

We pray that the eyes of many would be opened so that they would see You, the author and creator of our faith.

It is in the matchless name of Jesus we pray.

Amen.

Searching for Signs

Read Through the Bible in 2 years: Psalm 4; Proverbs 1:10; John 6:1-26

"When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, "This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!" ... Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves."
John 6:14, 26 ESV

Earlier in the book of John we read that Philip told Nathanael, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (John 1:45) and Jesus himself said, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.” (John 5:46)

Additionally, Jesus had done many miraculous signs – turning water into wine, healing the sick and lame, feeding thousands with a few fish and loaves of bread – proving again that He was the Messiah and Emmanuel, God with us. Yet, the people were still drawn to follow Him not because He was the way, the truth, and the life, but because of the wonderful gifts that He gave.

It reminds me of the other passages I read today – Psalm 4:7, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” and Proverbs 1:10, “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” Am I chasing having a full belly and lots of friends, and leaving Jesus in the trail of dust behind me?

Let’s pray together.

Lord Jesus,

I want to come to You because You are the Messiah, the Savior, the true and living God. You are the Creator and Sustainer of life. You have caused all things to exist by Your will. It is Your breath of life that fills my lungs. You are on Your throne, whether I believe You or follow You … or not.

Help me to turn away from sin and turn towards You. Forgive me for all those times that I’ve let sinners entice me. Forgive me for all those times I’ve gone my own way.

Help me to share this good news with others. Help me to WANT everyone to know the joy and peace and freedom that I’ve found in You.

Amen.


Can I Get a Witness?

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Psalm 3; Proverbs 1:8-9; John 4:46-5:47

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life." 
John 5:39-40 ESV

When the official’s son was healed, the official himself believed, and so did his whole household. How I pray that my whole household will be saved!

Before healing the lame man, Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be healed?” What a silly question, and yet how often would we rather return to our vomit and our pigpen. We say we want to be healed, we say we want to forsake our sin, but do we? Father, help us to want to want to follow You!

Jesus wanted these Jewish people to be saved, and He wants us to be saved, too. These Jews searched the scriptures because they wanted to find eternal life in them, yet it was those very scriptures who testified to Jesus Christ, the long-awaited Savior. How many people are sitting in our churches year after year, yet missing the Messiah?

So much testified to the deity of Christ – John the Baptizer who came before Christ to make the way straight for Him, Jesus’s miracles, the Father’s own voice from heaven (Mark 1:11), the scriptures – and yet people still refused to believe and be saved. How much like people today. These people were seeking glory from one another, rather than seeking glory from God. Again, how much like people today.

Will you pray with me?

Heavenly Father,

What an honor to call You Father. You have created each of us by Your will. You are worthy to receive all glory and honor and power (Revelation 4:11). I am not Your equal. No one is. I am not God and I never will be God. Rather, I have been created in Your likeness and for Your purposes, that You might be glorified in me and through me. Help me to be humble. Help me to search the scriptures faithfully and rightly, with a pure heart and a pure mind.

I want to know You more, that I would love You more and be more like You.

Make me a faithful witness like the Samaritan woman at the well that we read about yesterday, bearing testimony to others of the saving power of Jesus Christ. Help me to be Your faithful servant, doing Your will and Your work.

I pray that my whole household would believe. I pray for each of my children and their spouses and children. I pray for my parents and my sister and her family. I pray that they would see You in me and that they would search the scriptures faithfully for themselves.

Like some people believed after hearing the Samaritan woman’s testimony, but many more believed after hearing Jesus for themselves, I pray that many would listen to Jesus with their own ears and be saved.

In the powerful name of Messiah Jesus I pray,

Amen.