Anything worth having costs something. What does your commitment to God cost you? Be willing to pay the price to gain something worthwhile in the end.

Mark 14:36

36 And He was saying, Abba, [which means] Father, everything is possible for You. Take away this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You [will].

While praying, Jesus was aware of what doing the Father’s will would cost him. He understood the suffering he was about to encounter, and he did not want to have to endure the horrible experience. But Jesus prayed, "Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." Anything worth having costs something. What does your commitment to God cost you? Be willing to pay the price to gain something worthwhile in the end.

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that is in it. I praise You for my family and friends and the people I will meet today. Help me Lord today to be an example for You and to help shine Your love and hope into the lives I will encounter today. Help me Lord to make my schedule be Your schedule and to help me to accomplish all that needs to be done today. As I look forward reaching for the prize, I want to abide in You Lord. Help me to have the wisdom to know what to do and what not do, to know what to say and when to keep quiet, and to plan and schedule the next things so that I may walk them out in alignment with Your will. I thank You and praise and give You the honor now in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Verse of the Day

9 A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.

Proverbs 16:9

Chronological Reading:


Do you control your money or does money control you? Is it your servant or your master?

Mark 10:21

21 And Jesus, looking upon him, loved him, and He said to him, You lack one thing; go and sell all you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come [and] accompany Me [walking the same road that I walk].

What does your money mean to you? Although Jesus wanted this man to sell everything and give his money to the poor, this does not mean that all believers should sell all their possessions. Most of his followers did not sell everything, although they used their possessions to serve others. Instead, this story shows us that we must not let anything we have or desire keep us from following Jesus. We must remove all barriers to serving him fully. If Jesus asked, could you give up your house? Your car? Your level of income? Your position on the ladder of promotion? Your reaction may show your attitude toward money-whether it is your servant or your master.

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and all that will be in it. I thank You for my family and friends. I lift up my father-in-law to You Lord and ask for Your healing touch to bring healing and full restoration to his body as he has diagnoses with thyroid cancer. Provide not only precise operation and timing for the doctors, but also a quick recovery. Protect him as he awaits the surgery and provide him the courage and confidence to walk through this Lord, putting all his hope and trust in You. Lord, I thank You that You provide me opportunities that I could have never expected or asked for. Your favor Lord is powerful and precious. As I look forward, I ask Lord for Your multiplication of my time today so that I may accomplish all the things set before me in accordance with Your will. Allow me Lord to be an example and an ambassador for You today. Help my words and actions to reflect You and to bring You praise and honor and glory. And Lord as my day begins, I give You all the praise, honor, and glory in advance believing and trusting in You, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Chronological reading of the Bible:

Genesis 1

Genesis 2

Genesis 3

Verse of the Day

10 Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

Matthew 5:10

Can you get by the feeling of self-sufficiency? Can you get around the sense of defensiveness? Can you get passed being skeptical?

Mark 10:15

15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive and accept and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] positively shall not enter it at all.

How can you "receive the Kingdom of God like a child"? Adults considering the Christian faith for the first time will have life experiences that take them way past the ability to be as innocent as children. Jesus does not ask us to put aside our experiences, but he does require a change of attitude: adult self-sufficiency must recognize its need for the sovereign God; adult moral defensiveness must humble itself before the holy God; and adult skeptical toughness must soften before the loving God. Children do not feel supremely powerful, perfectly righteous, or totally autonomous. These are adult fantasies. Coming to Jesus means to accept his goodness on your behalf, confess your need, and commit your life to his tender guidance.

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for all that is within it. I praise You Lord for my family and call out to You in my need. My hope and trust are in You Lord. All things are possible for those who believe and Lord, my hope, my trust, my belief is in You. Lord, as I look into each situation, I look into it with a positivity that comes from my hope and trust in You. As I look at what is to come wondering how this will work, I look to You for wisdom and discernment, knowing that You know the beginning from the end and exactly what it is that You desire to learn from me. Lord as I step out today, I look to You to help guide my day, schedule my appointments, and lead my conversation in ways that allow me to glorify You. So in and through all of this day Lord, may You receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Verse of the Day

1 HAVE MERCY upon me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to the multitude of Your tender mercy and loving-kindness blot out my transgressions.2 Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin!

Psalm 51:1-2

Matthew 9:9-12

9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s office; and He said to him, Be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me]. And he rose and followed Him.10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and [especially wicked] sinners came and sat (reclined) with Him and His disciples.11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and those [preeminently] sinful?12 But when Jesus heard it, He replied, Those who are strong and well (healthy) have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick.

On Animal Planet the other day, there was a guy who was bitten by an extremely venomous snake somewhere in the bush in Africa. The snake bit him in the ankle and the fast-acting venom hit his bloodstream very quickly. His friends rushed him to the nearest place where he could get a ride to the hospital. It took them several hours to get him treatment. Finally, after a long series of events, the hospital staff identified the type of venom and gave him anti-venom to counteract the deadly poison.

This man’s friends knew he was dying, and they did everything possible to get help for his critical condition. In today’s passage, you’ll see that Jesus did the same thing, except that he was responding to those in critical condition, spiritually. Jesus cultivated relationships with people who were spiritually dying and in need of serious help. His radical lifestyle was marked by love, sacrifice, and reaching out to people who needed salvation.

For the past 14 days, we’ve been thinking about how crucial it is to be a part of a church – a community of believers. Today, spend some time thinking about the people in your world (e.g. school, work, neighborhood) that God may be prompting you to reach out to. Many people have never experienced the love of God or the hope that he gives. What are some ways that you can be intentional about sharing Jesus with them? How can you introduce them to this idea of community?

Where will you spend your time and effort? The temporary or the permanent?

Mark 8:36-37

36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [in the eternal kingdom of God]?37 For what can a man give as an exchange (a compensation, a ransom, in return) for his [blessed] life [in the eternal kingdom of God]?

Many people spend all their energy seeking pleasure. Jesus said, however, that a world of pleasure centered on possessions, position, or power is ultimately worthless. Whatever you have on earth is only temporary; it cannot be exchanged for your soul. If you work hard at getting what you want, you might eventually have a "pleasurable" life, but in the end you will find it hollow and empty. Are you willing to make the pursuit of God more important than the selfish pursuit of pleasure? Follow Jesus, and you will know what it means to live abundantly now and to have eternal life as well.

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for a fun weekend with my family and friends. I thank You Lord for this new day and all that You have in store. I look to You Lord as I caught up on email and will have some new opportunities this week and will need your wisdom, discernment, and strength to press in and through all of it. Help me Lord in stepping up and pressing in to all that You bring before me. Your Word tells me Lord that You will never give me more than I can handle, so I hold onto that truth knowing that You are with me and will show me the way. Help me Lord to keep my focus on You so that in all I say and all I do, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Verse of the Day

31 So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples.32 And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.

John 8:31-32

John 13:1-17

1 [NOW] BEFORE the Passover Feast began, Jesus knew (was fully aware) that the time had come for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. And as He had loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the last and to the highest degree.2 So [it was] during supper, Satan having already put the thought of betraying Jesus in the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son,3 [That] Jesus, knowing (fully aware) that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was [now] returning to God,4 Got up from supper, took off His garments, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He fastened it around His waist.5 Then He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the [servant’s] towel with which He was girded.6 When He came to Simon Peter, [Peter] said to Him, Lord, are my feet to be washed by You? [Is it for You to wash my feet?]7 Jesus said to him, You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on.8 Peter said to Him, You shall never wash my feet! Jesus answered him, Unless I wash you, you have no part with (in) Me [you have no share in companionship with Me].9 Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, [wash] not only my feet, but my hands and my head too!10 Jesus said to him, Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is clean all over. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you.11 For He knew who was going to betray Him; that was the reason He said, Not all of you are clean.12 So when He had finished washing their feet and had put on His garments and had sat down again, He said to them, Do you understand what I have done to you?13 You call Me the Teacher (Master) and the Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is what I am.14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher (Master), have washed your feet, you ought [it is your duty, you are under obligation, you owe it] to wash one another’s feet.15 For I have given you this as an example, so that you should do [in your turn] what I have done to you.16 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, A servant is not greater than his master, and no one who is sent is superior to the one who sent him.17 If you know these things, blessed and happy and to be envied are you if you practice them [if you act accordingly and really do them].

Service. Not the most fun word out there. It usually means work, so why do it? Why volunteer to serve others? Well, there is precedent for it – Jesus did it. In today’s reading, we are going to look at the example Jesus set for us by serving others.
In this passage, two levels of service are demonstrated:

1. Jesus engages in the ministry he loves, that he was created for – teaching and preaching to others. (This is found in the chapters surrounding John 13, so it doesn’t say this exactly. In fact, it doesn’t say it anywhere in John 13, because he and those on his ministry team [a.k.a. disciples] are taking a break from ministry to relax and eat together.)

2. Jesus serves the people he is working with. Its finally time for a break, and Jesus chooses to serve his team during his downtime.
Look for ways to serve God using your greatest passions. If you could create your ideal ministry in the church, what would you want to do? Would you sing on a worship team? Maybe paint a picture during the sermon? Help teach kids? Whatever you do, try to do it with a group. This group that you serve with could become your closest friends, as you serve God together. If you are already serving in church, what are some ways you can invest in those you serve alongside?

Opening Your Life to the Fullness of the Spirit

1. The Holy Spirit is the key to living in God’s grace and power everyday.

+ Jesus depended upon the work of the Holy Spirit in his life (Matthew 4:1- 11 Luke 4:18-21).

+ Jesus taught his disciples the importance of the Holy Spirit in life and ministry (John 14:25-27, John 16:5-16, Acts 1:4, 8).

2. The Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead and has all attributes of deity.

+ The Holy Spirit is omniscient (I Corinthians 2:10-11).

+ The Holy Spirit is omnipresent (Psalms 139:7).

+ The Holy Spirit is omnipotent (Luke 1:35).

3. The Holy Spirit is a person and desires to be personally involved in your life.

+ The Holy Spirit is our teacher (John 14:26).

+ The Holy Spirit will lead and guide our lives.

+ The Holy Spirit speaks and convicts our heart.

+ The Bible teaches that we can grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30, Acts 5:3).