Psalm 118:22

Verse: The stone that the builders rejected
                  has now become the cornerstone.

Insight: This verse was prophetic in that Jesus was the stone that would be rejected by the religious elite because of his background, lack of education, and relationships, yet God placed Jesus as the cornerstone of our salvation. Our identity and value come from God alone because only he knows the plan, and the purpose he created us to serve.

Prayer: God, we are so thankful that you look beyond the rejections to our real value and purpose that only comes from you. Help us to be ready and willing to serve in the role that you have designed for us. Thank you for placing your son. Jesus, as the cornerstone of our salvation. All praise and glory to you. In your name, Amen.

Nathan Patrick

1 John 1:5-7

Verse: This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.  So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

Insight: Erasmus, a Dutch philosopher, and Christian scholar once said, “Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.” Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space, just as sin is no longer welcome when our hearts are full of Gods cleansing love. This verse reminds us that attempting to live in that contradiction is not only dishonest to ourselves and others, but it is also impossible.

Prayer: God, let your light brightly shine in every facet of hearts so that no hint of darkness remains. Remind us each day as we make choices that it is impossible to be both full of your love and continue living in sin. Thank you for your marvelous gift of Salvation. In Your wonderful name, Amen.

Nathan Patrick

John 21:4-6

Verse: At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”

“No,” they replied.

Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.

Insight: In the great salmon run of August 1942, Nick Tarabochia filled his fishing boat the Phyllis T with so many fish that it sank on its way back to port. In this verse, the disciples had a similar experience of being blessed in abundance because they were willing to cast their nets again. As Christians, it is our purpose in this life to be fishers of men and continue casting our nets in faith.

Prayer: Lord, remind us each day to cast our nets as we interact with those around us, always believing for an abundant catch. Thank you for those who were obedient and shared the good news of salvation with me so that I could experience this relationship and eternity with you. In your wonderful name, Amen.

Nathan Patrick

John 20:16-17

Verse: “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?”

She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”

 “Mary!” Jesus said.

She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).

insight: In these verses, Mary Magdalene had just discovered Jesus was no longer in the tomb. Her world was spinning, and in that moment of turmoil she failed to recognize her Savior. Often in life we can be so distracted that we fail to recognize the miracle we are standing in the middle of.

Prayer: Lord, as we walk through troubles in this life help us to remain focused on you. Let us never fail to recognize when you are near and we are standing in the middle of a miracle. Thank you for blessing our lives and lighting our paths. In your name, Amen.

Nathan Patrick

Psalm 112:10

Verse: “The wicked will see this and be infuriated. They will grind their teeth in anger; they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.”

Insight: This verse reminds me of watching a movie villain be defeated when all of the heroes start working together. Everyone knows that the defeat is inevitable, but we also know there will be a struggle. In reality our true enemy, the devil, is being defeated every time we choose to think, say, or act in a manner that pleases God. Although we know he will be defeated, until then we daily have to fight to live like Jesus.

Prayer: Jesus, give me the strength today to defeat the enemy. Help me to use wisdom and self control as I go about the day seeking to follow your example. Amen

Psalm 93:4

Bible: “But mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore - the Lord above is mightier than these!”

Insight: Sitting on the beach watching the ocean is one of my favorite things. I love the imagery of this verse: my God is mightier than the violent raging seas. We have all heard stories or seen images that convey the power of the ocean, and the reality that God is far greater is truly awesome!

Prayer: Lord, we like the Psalmist stand in awe of your might and power. It is truly amazing that though the wind and waves are at your command, you so often choose to approach us with a gentle whisper. You are worthy of all our praise and honor, amen.

John 16:33

Verse: “I have told you all this so that you can have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, for I have overcome the world.”

Insight: One thing that I love about Jesus is that He does not sugarcoat hard truths. Our world is full of sorrow and hardship. Even for those who follow Christ. But, our souls can rest in the wonderful truth that Jesus has overcome every single one. Praise Jesus!

Prayer: Jesus, today we rejoice in the promise that you have overcome all of our trials and sorrows! Help us to remember this when worry, stress, and sadness seem to be overwhelming. Thank you that we can be marked by joy even in our suffering because of your victory. Amen.

Lacy Sperry

Jeremiah 15:19

Verse: “This is how the Lord responds: “If you return to me, I will restore you so that you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You much influence them; do not let them influent you!”’

Insight: I am so grateful that God gives unending chances. We as people veer from side to side, drop the ball, or completely turn our eyes away from God. Yet, He still gives us the opportunity to be used by Him. Thank you Jesus for your restoration work in our lives!

Prayer: God, today I thank you that you never give up on us. Wether it is the 5th or 500th time, you invite us to return to you. Help me to extend that same grace to others. Amen.

Lacy Sperry

John 14:6-7

Verse: “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my father is. From now on you do know him and you have seen him!”

Insight: Because it is the Fathers desire that all share in eternity with Him and that we all have an abundant life, Jesus does not leave this truth open for interpretation. I like to read these verses as if Jesus is talking with quiet intensity. Jesus is not speaking out of pride or arrogance (against his character) but rather with complete clarity. This is a reminder to us that though what we do is important, ultimately it does not determine where we spend eternity.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for praying the price for my access to the Father. Thank you that it takes merely a choice of accepting you to begin living in fullness of life right now. Help me reflect your clarity with the right sprit with those I am in relationship with. Amen.

Lacy Sperry

John 12:3

“…and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”

Insight:

The imagery of this passage is astounding to me. I can picture many of Jesus’ disciples sitting around a table with him, not thinking much about it, and then a woman that they recognize as ‘that one guy’s sister’ does this crazy act of pouring fully fragrant perfume upon their teacher. What is going on here? I cannot imagine that my thoughts would not be far from the thoughts of Judas when he suggested this expensive perfume should be used for something more important. Rather than affirming Judas’ suggestion of charity, Jesus gives the highest value to this woman’s act. To think as he spoke and as they all continued eating, “the fragrance of the perfume” still filled the house. I want my acts of sacrifice to be admirable not to someone like Judas, but to someone like Jesus. I hope that my worship to God would be so abundant, that an entire house could be filled with its fragrance.

Prayer:

Help us God to not to be distracted by what we ‘should’ be doing or what worship is ‘supposed’ to look like. As the fragrance of the woman’s perfume filled the house, so may the fragrance of Christ fill every room we enter as we continue to live sacrificially to our King.

Kirstie Weeks

John 13:13-14

Verse: “You call me Teacher and Lord and you are right, because that is what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you aught to wash each other’s feet.”

Insight: In a beautiful display, Jesus shows the disciples what it looks like to truly be great. Our society leans far away from this example. All of us can tend to think that the higher our position, the less dirty work we will have to do. Jesus tells us and shows us the opposite by washing twelve sets of what I am sure were very dirty feet. It doesn't matter what station we hold, how much money we make, or how many people we lead, Jesus exceeded them all and still chose to humble himself and serve.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for not just telling us how to treat others but also showing us. Help us to remember in your kingdom we become great not by achievements, but by servanthood. I pray that you will show us ways that we can serve others around us by showing them what your love looks like. Amen.

Lacy Sperry

Jeremiah 3:12-13

“‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will frown on you no longer, for I am faithful,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt—you have rebelled against the Lord your God…”

Insight:

God is so faithful to call us back to Him. The prophet Jeremiah is proclaiming with all his might that the Lord’s people have failed, that they are immoral and they have committed countless sins against God. But if they would only repent and “acknowledge their guilt,” they would regain the Lord’s favor. The posture of the heart means something to God. Although God is desperate for us to remain virtuous (for both His glory and for our having life abundant), He is also constantly beckoning us back to Him. If we come to God and acknowledge our guilt, He is faithful to welcome us back with open arms.

Prayer:

Forgive us Lord for the times that we have gone astray, we have often fallen short of your call to a holy life. Thank you, thank you, thank you God that regardless of how far we have run from your presence, we need only acknowledge our rebellion and come running back to you. You welcome us back, time and time again, with open arms and a loving embrace.

Kirstie Weeks

John 10:9

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture.”

Insight:

I often forget what a blessing it is that we have full access to abundant life through Jesus. In this passage, Jesus goes on to talk about how He alone is the “good shepherd” and through his sacrifice we are able to fully know Him. So many religions in the world suggest that their deity cannot be touched; even some sects of Christianity forget that through Jesus, we are both known by Him and can fully know Him. He made a way for us.

Prayer:

Thank you God that you are not some spiritual essence that is far removed from creation, but that through Jesus we are intimately connected. Thank you God that you are with us and that you allow us to continue seeking out knowledge of you.

Kirstie Weeks

Zephaniah 3:9

“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder.”

Insight:

Sometimes I get anxious thinking about the coming wrath and punishment for the Earth and for the people that do not yet know God. Other times I find myself praying, “come quickly Lord Jesus,” because the evil in this world is so overwhelming that I cannot wait for Jesus to come and make all things new. I often forget about this other element, this beautiful vision bestowed through the prophet Zephaniah that promises the gift of unity. Besides the coming wrath, God promises us a day where the followers of Christ will all stand together, “that all of them may call on the name of the Lord.” Of course, we do our best to embody this now by attempting to live in peace and unity with our brothers and sisters, but what joy it brings my heart to know that one day we will all stand before God together “shoulder to shoulder.”

Prayer:

Father, remind my heart that I have a purpose in the world today, but that the Promised Land is still to come. As preferences and differences arise with my family, friends, church, work, etc… help me to seek unity rather than division.

Kirstie Weeks

Habakkuk 2:9

“Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his nest on high to escape the clutches of ruin!”

Insight:

Although I do not believe that God is cursing the American dream of owning a nice home, I do believe He is giving us a stern warning to be aware of where our trust is resting. It is so easy to get on the train of, “If I just… save enough money, develop a strong resume, have plenty of friends and family, then maybe I can ‘escape the clutches of ruin.’” God invites us into a life of freedom where we do not need to devote all of our energy into being “safe.” Truthfully, we can never prepare enough to be fully “safe” in this fallen world; however, one thing is for certain, we are always safest walking in line with God’s beautiful plan for our lives.

Prayer:

Father, we do not want to trust in the ‘things’ of this world, help us to keep our eyes on you. Instead of living in fear, help us to live in freedom knowing that we are living the best possible life by following your will.

Kirstie Weeks

John 7:52

“Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”

Insight:

John 7 appears to be a tedious debate over whether or not Jesus could be the Messiah due to the fact that He does not appear to be from the right place. Through studying the early life of Jesus in Luke and Matthew, it can easily be seen how his lineage aligns with the prophecies of old, but why does that matter? Why are the religious leaders so concerned about where Jesus is from? For them, Jesus was not the Messiah they wanted—militant, feared by the Romans, legalistic. They were interested in any excuse to prove that this man who spoke of peace and love, could not possibly be the Messiah they were waiting for. Jesus often comes in a way that we do not expect. It is so easy to assume that having seen God act a certain way in the past or a certain way in other people’s lives, we ought to know how He will act in our current situations. This can be a dangerous thought road, we cannot pretend to be God and fully know His ways. I do not want to get caught up on unnecessary expectations like the men in this story as they replied “a prophet does not come out of Galilee.” The Lord longs to give us a flourishing life where He alone is the leader, without our comparison-driven route suggestions.

Prayer:

Have mercy on us God! Help us look to you as our only guide, protect us from trying to direct our own steps. We want to be followers of Christ, not followers of where we think Christ ‘should’ be leading us. We do not want to be distracted by our expectations, we want to fully focus on you and your Kingdom. Amen.

Kirstie Weeks

John 6:9

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

Insight

Do you ever look at your life and look at what is in front of you and think, “how far can I go?” It can be so easy to play the odds, fear the improbable, negotiate the dreams. I often find myself explaining to God all the ways that I fall short. Instead of affirming my inadequacy, Jesus asks me:
“What do you have?”
“Only five loaves and two fish,” I shamefully explain.
“Just see what I can do.”
Jesus does not ask us to play the odds, He is inviting us to a life of faith where He takes our small offering and multiples it beyond our wildest hopes.

Prayer

Father, please help us focus on your abundant blessings and your consistent pattern of using something small to do something great. We give you the small gifts and abilities we have and pray that you multiply them to do great works for your Kingdom. Amen.

Kirstie Weeks

John 5:6-7

 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

Insight:

Rather than answering Jesus with a “yes” or a “no,” he says “I can’t,” essentially saying I am stuck in this position. We can sometimes have our own places of stuckness where we believe we can’t escape or see a change or healing. Yet as this crippled man discovered, Jesus is able to do the impossible. Look to him today and seek him for the deliverance, or healing that you need and then trust his timing.

Prayer:

Lord I lift up to you the areas where I am stuck and need healing. I can’t fix these things on my own and I ask for your healing to flow through me today. Give me wisdom and direction and strength to get me where you want me to be. Amen.

Justin Keeler

John 4:4

…He had to go through Samaria on the way.

Insight:

I love that Jesus always had plans for people while he was on the way somewhere. In this case he wanted to reach out to a woman who had a bad reputation around town and to be able to share hope for a new life with her. Let’s look for opportunities to share the good news of Jesus “along the way.” In picking up kids to go play at the park, or meeting a friend for coffee, or while out shopping. It’s in these along the way moments that some of the most profound ministry happens.

Prayer:

Jesus open my eyes and my heart today to recognize opportunities to minister to people I cross paths with or who you direct me to connect with. Amen.

Justin Keeler

Psalm 62:5-6

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.

Insight:

In the busyness of our days it can be difficult to just stop and wait quietly. Sometimes the quiet scares us, but it is where we can be reminded of the source of our daily hope and that Jesus is a rock and fortress for us. When life seems to be shaking us, he is where we need to run for comfort and stability in the midst of it. Take a moment to quiet your heart and mind and focus on Jesus. He is your ROCK.

Prayer:

Lord I thank you that I can turn to you today for comfort and hope. I give you all the things in my world that are shaking right now and I ask that you would set my feet firm on you today. Amen.

Justin Keeler