There is a giddy ritual performed by most Western couples before they marry. They register for gifts. They make selections at various stores and websites so well-wishers can know of their needs and preferences. After all, a new husband and a new wife in a new home will need a few things. They will need furnishings; items including a comfortable bed, places to sit in the living room, a table for meals, and dinnerware to fill kitchen cabinets.
The Bible refers to similar furnishings—usually not as life-changing truth topics, but as part of the scenery of Scripture. At times they are a feature and at other times they are in the background. The Bible mentions beds, couches, tables, chairs, cups, bowls, and other items. The Furnishings Devotional Series will lead Believers in Jesus to see and savor Him through the Scriptures, using the many references to furnishings as places to start.
Part One: A Bed in the Wilderness
“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” (Psalm 63:5-7 ESV)
Harry S. Truman, one of our U.S. Presidents back when life was in black and white, said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” That rings true. Reading is a necessary discipline for leaders of families, churches, and other organizations. Good leaders never stop learning. Books create classrooms in the mind, they poke at our complacency, and they render visions of far off places—like where we could end up in the next five years.
If you are a leader, reading is not a luxury; it is a responsibility. Put fresh thoughts and models before your eyes. Submit yourself to challenge and page-by-page inspection; read books that will hone the edge of your faith. Read stories of success and failure; learn from others and minimize your life’s leadership regrets. Let the artful beauty of well-crafted sentences inspire you to renewed conviction, replenished enthusiasm, and refreshed gratitude. Continue reading
Earlier this week, I waved goodbye to my wife and two of our children as they set-out for a one-week mission project in Western Canada. Each had a bulging suitcase and a bulging heart; the latter full of happy anticipation. Seeing them off, I began to think about what prayers I should pray to cover their hearts and to partner with the Holy Spirit in their work.
Just maybe, someone you know will carry love and the Gospel this summer to a different culture, state, or country. I hope these six ideas serve your commitment to go to the Father on their behalf.
1. Pray for the spiritual fruit of new Believers.
This must be the hope and goal of missions—both long-term and short-term. Let there be new worshipers of Jesus! Rescue the perishing!
Ask God to open spiritual eyes to see His marvelous grace. Let’s pray that men and women believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” (Romans 10:1 ESV) Continue reading
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