December 8

Hosea 10:1-14:9; Jude 1:1-25; Psalm 127:1-5; Proverbs 29:15-17

Our hearts play a significant role in our lives. Not the organ that pumps your blood but the very core of your spiritual being which the Bible calls the heart. The heart is the internal compass of our lives and whatever is placed into our hearts will reproduce in our lives.

God’s advice to Israel was to “Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.” (Hosea 10:12)

God wanted Israel to use the law of sowing and reaping to reverse their plight in life. Seed is no good if the ground is unhealthy. Good seed in bad soil will seldom produce as it should. But good seed in good ground will always produce a harvest.

What is the condition of your heart? Have you lived with so much pain that your heart is hardened? Have you endured so many disappointments that your heart is filled with bitterness? Has loss engulfed your heart so that there is an impenetrable wall around it? These types of heart will only reproduce more hurt.

Ask God today to help you with your heart issue and let Him come in and change the stony heart for one of flesh so that when good seed is sown it will produce the maximum harvest in our lives.

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Joel 1:1-3:21; Revelation 1:1-20; Psalm 128:1-6; Proverbs 29:18

December 7

Hosea 6:1-9:17; 3 John 1:1-14; Psalm 126:1-6; Proverbs 29:12-14

There is a spiritual law often referred to as “sowing and reaping” or reciprocity. It states that whatever we do (sow) will come back to us in a greater measure. It is found throughout the Bible. It is a pervasive law that governs all of creation.

We see this law at work in nature. One seed is planted but a crop grows. This same law works spiritually. If we respected this law, we could leverage it to see enhanced results in our lives. God says about Israel, “They have planted the wind and will harvest the whirlwind.” (Hosea 8:7)

Israel saw the negative effects of this law. They sowed iniquity and they reaped great sin and judgment. They sowed rebellion and they reaped waves of invasion and exile. When they sowed acts of obedience, they reaped peace and prosperity.

If you want to see more of something in your life, then sow it and watch it come back to you in a greater measure. This law always works so make it work for you and not against you.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Hosea 10:1-14:9; Jude 1:1-25; Psalm 127:1-5; Proverbs 29:15-17

December 6

Hosea 4:1-5:152 John 1:1-13; Psalm 125:1-5; Proverbs 29:9-11

Faithfulness, kindness and knowledge of God were the 3 areas that Israel had failed. Israel’s deficiencies in these areas led them to all manner of evil. We often look for complicated formulas of success in life when God’s way is very simple: remain faithful to God, be kind to one another and learn as much as you can about God and share it.

The foundation of each of these expectations is that we do our part. Often we want to look at other people and point out their short-comings. We fulfill our commitments based on how others treat us. This is the opposite of what God expects. If no one else is faithful to God, I should be. If no one else is kind, I should be. If no one else is growing, I should be. If no one else is sharing his or her faith, I should be.

This level of personal responsibility for our walk with God removes all excuses and blame. God is looking for each one of us to live our lives faithfully to Him– that means renouncing all other gods or idols and remaining true to Him. Then, God wants us to demonstrate kindness to everyone we meet– even those who do not like us. Lastly, God wants us to know Him and spread His Name so that others will come to know Him.

We all can do this and it will bring great honor to our God!

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Hosea 6:1-9:17; 3 John 1:1-14; Psalm 126:1-6; Proverbs 29:12-14

December 5

Hosea 1:1-3:51 John 5:1-21; Psalm 124:1-8; Proverbs 29:5-8

God’s love is unconditional and limitless. God asks the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute as a living example of how His relationship with Israel has gone. As much as God has loved Israel, she continued to leave Him for other gods.

Even though God had every reason to forsake Israel and give up on them, He remains committed to her— even while she is pursuing other gods. What would your threshold be before you would say, “Enough is enough?”

Thankfully God does not have a threshold for His love. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases! God keeps loving us even when we walk away from Him. God continues to believe in us even when we stop believing in ourselves. God forgives us even when we don’t see how we can forgive ourselves.

Allow God to love you today. It’s not about how much you love Him. What’s most important is how much God loves you! It is endless!

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Hosea 4:1-5:152 John 1:1-13; Psalm 125:1-5; Proverbs 29:9-11

December 4

Daniel 11:36-12:13; 1 John 4:1-21; Psalm 123:1-4; Proverbs 29:2-4

This world is not made to last! It will come to an end. Daniel closes out his prophetic book with a glimpse of what will happen at the end of time. When time ends, those who are inscribed in the Book will be rescued.

Many people find it hard to believe that our deeds are being recorded but the Bible is clear that not just our actions but even our idle words will be accounted for. This should cause all of us to examine ourselves daily to ensure that we are really living our lives based on God’s standards and not by the world’s standards.

If we live by the world’s standards, we will lose the reward that God has promised us. If we live by God’s standards, we will enjoy great rewards in heaven. As Believers, we must live for an eternal purpose. When will the end come? We will not know until it comes but when it comes, there are no “do-overs”.

Let’s live a meaningful life today so that when the end comes we can boldly enter eternity knowing we fulfilled our purpose.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Hosea 1:1-3:51 John 5:1-21; Psalm 124:1-8; Proverbs 29:5-8

December 3

Daniel 11:2-35; 1 John 3:7-24; Psalm 122:1-9; Proverbs 29:1

Trusting anything other than God will leave you unfulfilled. In many countries, people put their faith and confidence in who leads the nation. They think that the nation will rise or fall based on who is in the top position.

The truth is that politicians and leaders will come and go. There is someone who is greater than any president, monarch, or dictator! Our Sovereign God has outlasted every administration, regime, and monarchy.

Regardless of the country in which we live, Jesus is our Savior. He is our leader. He is our Monarch. He is the one who outlasts and outlives all other leaders. Here is how the Bible describes Him: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

During this season, remember that a vulnerable baby was not born in a manger but the Savior of the World came down to earth to establish His rule. Let Him rule in your life today.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Daniel 11:36-12:13; 1 John 4:1-21; Psalm 123:1-4; Proverbs 29:2-4

December 2

Daniel 9:1-11:1; 1 John 2:18-3:6; Psalm 121:1-8; Proverbs 28:27-28

Prayer still works! Daniel as a man of faith relied upon prayer. He was a true intercessor. He not only prayed for himself and his issues but he also prayed for Israel and their punishment. There is a power that God releases when we pray for others.

Too often our prayers are selfish but God also calls on us to pray for others around us. Daniel was in a privileged position even though he was in exile. His life was very pampered and he could have turned a blind-eye to the suffering of others.

But, as a real man of God, Daniel saw it as his responsibility to pray for other people. It is our responsibility to pray for those around us. If there are hurting people around you, they need your prayer. If there are broken families, people in financial distress, or even people wandering aimlessly through life, God has put them in our path so that we might pray for them. Be observant and fulfill your purpose to pray for those around you. They are depending on your prayers.

Tomorrow’s Reading:  Daniel 11:2-35; 1 John 3:7-24; Psalm 122:1-9; Proverbs 29:1

December 1

Daniel 8:1-27; 1 John 2:1-17; Psalm 120:1-7; Proverbs 28:25-26

We serve a God who is completely divine. He is not human and transcends all natural laws. When He has a message to give us God will make it plain to us. God does not waste His words or His time.

If He gives us a dream, vision or Word, God is obligated to make it clear to us. If He did not make it clear, then we would not be expected to obey it. Daniel was known for interpreting other people’s dreams. He had a precision and accuracy that distinguished him from all other wise men of the time.

But, when Daniel had visions and dreams, he could not interpret them. God did not allow him to struggle to discover a meaning, He sent the Angel Gabriel to give Daniel the interpretation of the dream.  If you have dreams or visions, when they are from God, He will give you understanding. If you don’t get understanding, then it’s not from Him.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Daniel 9:1-11:1; 1 John 2:18-3:6; Psalm 121:1-8; Proverbs 28:27-28

November 30

Daniel 7:1-28; 1 John 1:1-10; Psalm 119:153-176; Proverbs 28:23-24

Nations rise and nations fall. Throughout history there have been great rulers and evil despots who have reigned for a period of time. Even the greatest of kings and presidents have died and their kingdoms have fallen.

The once great nations of the world are no longer around. So what makes us have hope for the future? We belong to an incorruptible kingdom that can never pass away.

Daniel saw a vision that showed all the great nations of the world and how they yielded to an even greater kingdom. When all the dust settles, there will only be one kingdom that lasts. Jesus is the King of an Eternal Kingdom. All those who have accepted Him can rest assured that no matter what happens around them, they will be protected by the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Our citizenship is in a different kingdom. Live as a citizen of Heaven.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Daniel 8:1-27; 1 John 2:1-17; Psalm 120:1-7; Proverbs 28:25-26

November 29

Daniel 6:1-28;2 Peter 3:1-18;Psalm 119:129-152;Proverbs 28:21-22

Is it possible to live our lives so faithfully to God that those that don’t like us still can’t find fault with us? This was the standard that Daniel set. He stood for God and represented God so well that he continued to receive promotions and notoriety.

Daniel had served 2 previous kings and always remained at the top. When Darius took the reigns of the kingdom, he retained Daniel’s high position. In jealousy, the other administrators tried to find some fault that they could exploit. “Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy.” (Daniel 6:4)

They could find nothing wrong. The only way that they could trap Daniel was to challenge his faith. They knew that Daniel would never compromise His relationship with God. Standing for God is never wrong and if we live for God with excellence, we actually represent a model the world will respect. Let’s commit to live as Christians who really represent the character and actions of Christ in our homes, church and workplace.

Tomorrow’s Reading: Daniel 7:1-28; 1 John 1:1-10; Psalm 119:153-176; Proverbs 28:23-24