Do you pray about your day? Do you pray for your family? Do you pray for your neighbors? Do you pray for your co-workers? Do you pray for kids? Do you pray for those in need? Do you pray for those who are being abused or persecuted? Do you pray for your team? Do you pray for your leaders? Do you pray for your church?
Where do you turn when you are struggling or looking for wisdom? Do you have someone you can ask to pray for you and your situation and your needs? Do you want or need someone to pray for you? If so, can I pray for you?
Today’s reading starts on prayer with…
20“I pray not only for them, but also for those who believe in me because of their message. 21I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22I gave them the same glory you gave me, so that they may be one, just as you and I are one: 23I in them and you in me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them as you love me.
24“Father! You have given them to me, and I want them to be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory, the glory you gave me; for you loved me before the world was made. 25Righteous Father! The world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you sent me. 26I made you known to them, and I will continue to do so, in order that the love you have for me may be in them, and so that I also may be in them.”
–from John 17
When did you choose? When will you choose? What would it take? What will it take? Jesus is the answer! He is the way! He is the truth! He is the life! We need Him to make it! How far do you have to go before you would turn back to God? How hard would it have to get before you would consider asking Him for help? He wants to walk with you so that you don’t have to go it alone! He will never leave you nor abandon you, so will you call on Him?
Today’s reading continues in Revelation…
1Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet. I saw a star which had fallen down to the earth, and it was given the key to the abyss. 2The star opened the abyss, and smoke poured out of it, like the smoke from a large furnace; the sunlight and the air were darkened by the smoke from the abyss. 3Locusts came down out of the smoke upon the earth, and they were given the same kind of power that scorpions have. 4They were told not to harm the grass or the trees or any other plant; they could harm only the people who did not have the mark of God’s seal on their foreheads. 5The locusts were not allowed to kill these people, but only to torture them for five months. The pain caused by the torture is like the pain caused by a scorpion’s sting. 6During those five months they will seek death, but will not find it; they will want to die, but death will flee from them. 7The locusts looked like horses ready for battle; on their heads they had what seemed to be crowns of gold, and their faces were like human faces. 8Their hair was like women’s hair, their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9Their chests were covered with what looked like iron breastplates, and the sound made by their wings was like the noise of many horse-drawn chariots rushing into battle. 10They have tails and stings like those of a scorpion, and it is with their tails that they have the power to hurt people for five months. 11They have a king ruling over them, who is the angel in charge of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon; in Greek the name is Apollyon (meaning “The Destroyer”). 12The first horror is over; after this there are still two more horrors to come. 13Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet. I heard a voice coming from the four corners of the gold altar standing before God. 14The voice said to the sixth angel, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great Euphrates River!” 15The four angels were released; for this very hour of this very day of this very month and year they had been kept ready to kill a third of all the human race. 16I was told the number of the mounted troops: it was two hundred million. 17And in my vision I saw the horses and their riders: they had breastplates red as fire, blue as sapphire, and yellow as sulfur. The horses’ heads were like lions’ heads, and from their mouths came out fire, smoke, and sulfur. 18A third of the human race was killed by those three plagues: the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur coming out of the horses’ mouths. 19For the power of the horses is in their mouths and also in their tails. Their tails are like snakes with heads, and they use them to hurt people. 20The rest of the human race, all those who had not been killed by these plagues, did not turn away from what they themselves had made. They did not stop worshiping demons, nor the idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk. 21Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic, their sexual immorality, or their stealing.
–from Revelation 9
It’s not about religion and rituals, it’s all about a relationship with Jesus! When we start and live that relationship, it doesn’t make challenges, trials, hardship go away, it just makes it easier or better because we aren’t doing it alone and in our own power. We have God with us and able to speak encouragement, wisdom, instruction, and direction in and through it and to help us to learn what we need to learn in and through that situation!
12But I tell you, Job, you are wrong. God is greater than any human being. 13Why do you accuse God of never answering our complaints? 14Although God speaks again and again, no one pays attention to what he says. 15At night when people are asleep, God speaks in dreams and visions. 16He makes them listen to what he says, and they are frightened at his warnings. 17God speaks to make them stop their sinning and to save them from becoming proud. 18He will not let them be destroyed; he saves them from death itself. 19God corrects us by sending sickness and filling our bodies with pain. 20Those who are sick lose their appetites, and even the finest food looks revolting. 21Their bodies waste away to nothing; you can see all their bones; 22they are about to go to the world of the dead. 23Perhaps an angel may come to their aid—one of God’s thousands of angels, who remind us of our duty. 24In mercy the angel will say, “Release them! They are not to go down to the world of the dead. Here is the ransom to set them free.” 25Their bodies will grow young and strong again; 26when they pray, God will answer; they will worship God with joy; God will set things right for them again. 27Each one will say in public, “I have sinned. I have not done right, but God spared me. 28He kept me from going to the world of the dead, and I am still alive.” 29God does all this again and again; 30each one saves a person’s life, and gives him the joy of living. 31Now, Job, listen to what I am saying; be quiet and let me speak. 32But if you have something to say, let me hear it; I would gladly admit you are in the right. 33But if not, be quiet and listen to me, and I will teach you how to be wise.
–from Job 33
Take a look around you! Consider if it is in alignment with God’s Word! Consider if we are setting things up for God or if the world is setting things up for disaster! Consider what you can do to help. Consider what you can do to make a difference. Consider what needs to stay the same. Consider what needs to change. Consider the consequences to doing nothing! Consider the consequences to doing something! Are you willing to risk it? Are you willing to step out in faith? Will you be an agent of transformation?
1This is the prophecy of Obadiah—what the Sovereign Lord said about the nation of Edom.
The Lord Will Punish Edom
The Lord has sent his messenger to the nations, and we have heard his message: “Get ready! Let us go to war against Edom!” 2The Lord says to Edom, “I will make you weak; everyone will despise you. 3Your pride has deceived you. Your capital is a fortress of solid rock; your home is high in the mountains, and so you say to yourself, ‘Who can ever pull me down?’ 4Even though you make your home as high as an eagle’s nest, so that it seems to be among the stars, yet I will pull you down. 5“When thieves come at night, they take only what they want. When people gather grapes, they always leave a few. But your enemies have wiped you out completely. 6Descendants of Esau, your treasures have been looted. 7Your allies have deceived you; they have driven you from your country. People who were at peace with you have now conquered you. Those friends who ate with you have laid a trap for you; they say of you, ‘Where is all that cleverness he had?’ 8“On the day I punish Edom, I will destroy their clever men and wipe out all their wisdom. 9The fighting men of Teman will be terrified, and every soldier in Edom will be killed.
Reasons for Edom’s Punishment
10“Because you robbed and killed your relatives, the descendants of Jacob, you will be destroyed and dishonored forever. 11You stood aside on that day when enemies broke down their gates. You were as bad as those strangers who carried off Jerusalem’s wealth and divided it among themselves. 12You should not have gloated over the misfortune of your relatives in Judah. You should not have been glad on the day of their ruin. You should not have laughed at them in their distress. 13You should not have entered the city of my people to gloat over their suffering and to seize their riches on the day of their disaster. 14You should not have stood at the crossroads to catch those trying to escape. You should not have handed them over to the enemy on the day of their distress.
God Will Judge the Nations
15“The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all nations. Edom, what you have done will be done to you. You will get back what you have given. 16My people have drunk a bitter cup of punishment on my sacred hill. But all the surrounding nations will drink a still more bitter cup of punishment; they will drink it all and vanish away.
The Victory of Israel
17“But on Mount Zion some will escape, and it will be a sacred place. The people of Jacob will possess the land that is theirs by right. 18The people of Jacob and of Joseph will be like fire; they will destroy the people of Esau as fire burns stubble. No descendant of Esau will survive. I, the Lord, have spoken. 19“People from southern Judah will occupy Edom; those from the western foothills will capture Philistia. Israelites will possess the territory of Ephraim and Samaria; the people of Benjamin will take Gilead. 20The army of exiles from northern Israel will return and conquer Phoenicia as far north as Zarephath. The exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sardis will capture the towns of southern Judah. 21The victorious men of Jerusalem will attack Edom and rule over it. And the Lord himself will be king.”
–from Obadiah 1