Day 18: “Children are God’s Best Gift.”

fearfully-madeToday’s children are bombarded with more information than any previous generation. Just go to a shopping mall you’ll see iPads strapped to prams and realise even two year olds are filtering messages coming at them at breakneck speeds. The pace doesn’t slow as they get older.

The most important data young people need is God’s word which tells them they are precious in his sight. An urgent affirmation of the Lord’s plan for them is due.  Timely reminders that they aren’t in your way nor too naive to make a difference.

Today, focus on praying for the children and youth in your life. Maybe they live with you… Look them in the eyes and say, “God loves and cherishes you. You are SO SPECIAL and worthy of love, perfectly made in his image and fully equipped to change the world.”

If you have grandchildren, nieces and nephews, kids at church over whom you have influence, don’t take your position for granted. The world will tell them everything they aren’t and will reinforce what they lack. As Christian leaders, parents, grandparents, you have a responsibility to speak and pray into the lives of the precious ones in your life.

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
    the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
    are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
    with your quivers full of children!
 (Psalm 127:3-4 MSG)

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Day 10: “Love Lavishly.”

love-deeplyAs you continue to spend time in prayer and fasting, your relationship with your Heavenly Father is deepening. The closer you are to him, the more clearly you hear his voice, the more secure you feel about your circumstances, your family, your work.

Now, it’s time to look outside of yourself and begin to see how you can impact your surroundings. Look at the encouraging words of Peter:

“Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes.” (1 Peter 4:7-11 MSG)

Practise prayerfulness.

Love lavishly.

Give generously.

Communicate kindly.

Help wholeheartedly.

Fasting Devotion, Day Six

Romans 13:1-6

We all have leaders in our life. Whether our parents, a boss, a teacher, a pastor, they play important roles in guiding us, educating us, and overseeing our progress and work. Leaders have the ability to influence us greatly. We can all remember the coach who believed in us and pushed us to do something we didn’t think possible on the field. I can remember a teacher who told me I was something special and that I could achieve anything I put my mind to. For years, it was her voice that caused me to push through hard times.

Sometimes, we don’t like to listen to authority figures. They can tell us something we may not want to hear. Our pridefulness can avoid input into our lives for fear of feeling weak, needy or ignorant.

God has established all authority figures in their places. Whether good or bad, right or wrong; decisions we like or ones we deem unfair. The great news is that as Christians, we are ultimately submitted to the most competent and absolutely perfect leader, Jesus Christ. If we truly trust him and totally rely on him, then we can handle whatever comes our way in this life.

As we continue our 21 day fast, let us remember and pray for the leaders in our lives. Their jobs aren’t easy. Sometimes they have very heavy burdens and they aren’t able to share publicly the struggles they face. May we always have compassion and grace towards our leaders, respecting and honouring them while trusting God. He ultimately helps us fulfill the plan and purpose for our lives no matter what life brings us.

Dear God, thank you for placing leaders in my life to help guide me. I pray for each of them to know you and to follow your voice as they lead. Strengthen our governmental leadership, civic leaders, bosses, teachers, and pastors. Give them wisdom to make tough decisions and encourage them through the people they lead. May it be a joy and not a burden to fulfill their roles. In Jesus’ name, Amen.