Week One: God's Intention For Us

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My husband and I recently took a trip to Alaska and revisited the glaciers we saw for the first time thirty-three years ago.  To our disappointment, the majestic mountains of ice we remembered had dwindled down to an ice cube by comparison.  The Naturalist discussing the disappearance of the glaciers suggested the cause was possibly due to several different sources or a combination of events, including a natural cycle of nature.  I remember him saying, “Creation is still creating itself.”

God put all the pieces in place for nature to continue birthing and renewing itself daily.  Rivers carve canyons out of ancient rocks, earthquakes shift landscapes, all species of mothers birth babies, and God daily works in my life to transform me and sinners like me into the likeness of his son, Jesus Christ.  In my life, I’ve gone down several wrong roads, taken meandering paths in the wrong direction, and found myself hopelessly lost, but God has been faithful to continue to love me and draw me back to himself, always renewing me and re-creating my likeness into that of his Son.

Norma Newton

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Father God, I have this ongoing knowledge that You love me. I long to see, accept and welcome all You have for me, and I want to respond lovingly in reverence, praise and service. More than anything, I want to glorify You.  Amen.


DAILY — PRAYING SCRIPTURE:

Day One: 

It is difficult for us to wrap our minds around who and what is God.  He is eternal, all-knowing, beyond our understanding, and yet before He created the world, his mind and spirit were wrapped around us.  He chose us.

Ephesians 1:3-5: Father God, creator of Heaven and Earth, You are a loving God who blesses us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  Your Word says, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” We praise you and worship you because you are worthy.  We thank you for choosing us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ask Yourself: Have I thanked God for choosing me and blessing me?  Have I considered the price Christ paid so I could stand holy and blameless in front of God?  How could my thankfulness translate into worship and praise?  Find a way to honor God by blessing someone this week.

Prayer:  Father God, I have this ongoing knowledge that You love me. I long to see, accept and welcome all You have for me, and I want to respond lovingly in reverence, praise and service. More than anything, I want to glorify You.  Amen.


Day Two:

God’s intention for mankind is to live holy and blameless lives, but this is impossible for us to do on our own.  So, it’s a dilemma for us to please God when we are born into sin and, try as we might, continue to follow our sinful natures.  But God has a plan.

2 Corinthians 5: 17-18, 21: Lord, I praise You for “making Jesus, who had no sin, be sin” for me so that I am a new creation in Christ and, therefore, am made righteous and reconciled to God.  God, today I will live as new creations in Christ and show the world around me my deep love and devotion to You.  Guide me as I go through the day. Amen.

Ask Yourself: Do I wake each morning and ask God to continue working with me, making me a new creation in Christ?  What does this look like throughout my day?  Are there areas where I slip back into my old ways when I was without Christ?  Ask God to search you today and lead you into the ways everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).

Prayer: Father God, I have this ongoing knowledge that You love me. I long to see, accept and welcome all You have for me, and I want to respond lovingly in reverence, praise and service. More than anything, I want to glorify You.  Amen.


Day Three:

Though we strive to obey God, we fail.  We plan to lead good lives and do what is right, but then we are tempted and give in to temptation.  We try to justify what we have done, but we’ve still given in to that temptation.  What are we to do?  Praise God who gives us hope for eternal life through the resurrection of Christ who conquered death.  While we fail in our attempts to lead a perfect life, Christ did not fail.

1 Peter 1:3: Lord, praise be to You, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In your great mercy You have given me new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Amen.

Ask Yourself—Have you made New Year’s Resolutions this year?  Have you kept them all so far?  Take time to look at your resolutions and see if any of them will bring hope to you or someone else.  If not, plan to volunteer, make a donation, write a note, or do something that will make someone find hope in their future.

Prayer: Father God, I have this ongoing knowledge that You love me. I long to see, accept and welcome all You have for me, and I want to respond lovingly in reverence, praise and service. More than anything, I want to glorify You.  Amen.


Day Four: 

It is not God’s intent for us to be overwhelmed when things do not go as we had planned. Heartaches come, loved ones die, homes are destroyed in hurricanes, floods, and fires, and we are broken and hurt.  God knows when our hearts are breaking, and his breaks with ours.  When the Jews were sent into exile after losing their city, temple, and rituals, God sent words of comfort to them.

Lamentations 3:22-23: Lord of life, because of your steadfast love that never ceases, I am not consumed by things happening in this world.  I thank you for your compassionate care and love that never fails.  Your love is eternal.  Thank you for your faithful love and devotion and for your mercies that are new every morning.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ask Yourself: When you see the news showing natural disasters, political fighting, and global conflicts, what is your reaction?  Do you seek God’s compassion and love that He is constantly renewing in your spirit?  How can you help others see and know the compassion of God during events that cause anxiety and stress?

Prayer: Father God, I have this ongoing knowledge that You love me. I long to see, accept and welcome all You have for me, and I want to respond lovingly in reverence, praise and service. More than anything, I want to glorify You.  Amen.


Day Five: 

God’s intention was always to have a relationship with us.  When Adam rebelled, he broke the relationship, but God did not give up on mankind.  He made a new covenant with us through his son Jesus Christ.  In this relationship, we are adopted into the family of God.

Romans 8:16-17: Abba, Father, I do not deserve to be called your child, but I thank you for adopting me into your family with Christ as my co-heir. Please continue to send your Spirit to testify with my spirit that I am your beloved child.  Fill my life with your fatherly love, provisions, and discipline so that I may glorify You always.  Amen.

Ask Yourself: Do you live in the knowledge that you are truly a son or daughter of God?  Do you think of him as your heavenly Daddy and go to him with your problems and worries?  How does knowing who you are as a child of God affect the choices you make?

Prayer: Father God, I have this ongoing knowledge that You love me. I long to see, accept and welcome all You have for me, and I want to respond lovingly in reverence, praise and service. More than anything, I want to glorify You.  Amen.


Day Six:  

God has always been working in the world with all of creation.  His intention has always been restoration and healing.  His plan to restore mankind to himself is perfect; we just have to choose to believe. 

      John 3:16-17. God, you had a plan to restore me to yourself by sending your Son into the world to show me who You are and how much You love me.  Thank You that Jesus was not sent to condemn me but to save me.  When I believe in Jesus and who He says He is, and when I follow him, I am  given a restored relationship with You and eternal life to spend with You.  I am blessed to believe in your Son, Jesus Christ.  Thank You for the gift of your Son.  Help me to live in the newness of life in Christ and restored relationship with You, which was  your original intention for all of mankind.  Amen.

Ask Yourself— Is there any sin you are holding on to that you think is just too big, too awful to be forgiven?  Maybe at times you feel forgiven and then later you go and pick it up again.  Does knowing Jesus was not sent to condemn you but to save you change anything?  Go live in light and truth and forgiveness.

Prayer: Father God, I have this ongoing knowledge that You love me. I long to see, accept and welcome all You have for me, and I want to respond lovingly in reverence, praise and service. More than anything, I want to glorify You.  Amen.


Day Seven: 

Prayer: Father God, I have this ongoing knowledge that You love me. I long to see, accept and welcome all You have for me, and I want to respond lovingly in reverence, praise and service. More than anything, I want to glorify You.  Amen.

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 Look over your notes/prayers from the past week.  What seems meaningful to you?  Did you receive any insight, inspiration, or challenge?  Does something require more prayer of discernment?  Did it come home to you how much God wants to renew and forgive you?  Did you understand God’s intentions to love you and restore you to Himself through Jesus Christ?  Did some Scripture touch you specifically?  Take time today to put some thought into the New Year and new beginnings.  Are you living in the true meaning and purpose for your life?  How can you align your life this New Year with God’s intentions for you? 

Catherine HortonComment