30 Days of Devo Challenge: Day 8

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Heavenly Father,

You are not surprised by the results of the election, and I thank You that indeed You are sovereign, and You have chosen Biden for Your purposes. In light of these election results, I continue to pray that those who call themselves Christians – especially myself – will respond in a manner that is glorifying to You.

I am so deeply reminded of my need for You – and indeed, humanity’s need for you; the need for a Saviour. In a nation so divided, I only see need of more love, more forgiveness, more grace… all of these things that we – or at least I – could never achieve on our own willpower, for we are all fallen; selfish, prideful, sinful.

We are all so broken. We have all sinned in different ways. We have all been hurt in different ways. Most of us have been deeply traumatised in one way or another. We try to rationalise any sinful responses as due to what we have been through, we try to diminish our responsibility to ease our conscience, we tell ourselves that You do not exist so therefore there is no ultimate authority to whom we are accountable.

But at the end of the day, what we need is You: Your perfect, perfect love and perfect forgiveness… to know that we are deeply loved no matter what, to know that we are fully forgiven and can have reconciliation with You – our Father, creator God – through simply accepting and believing in Jesus.

I pray that those who have been hurt may have opportunities to reach out to You, be comforted by You, and accept the deep, deep love and complete forgiveness and reconciliation that they can have with You through Your Son Jesus Christ; to be restored into a right relationship with You but also made whole – made new. And not only that, but to also have hope of eternity in Christ’s second coming.

I thank You that I have had the privilege of turning to You and accepting Christ, that now those former burdens have disappeared in light of Your salvation and grace. I pray that I will be desperate to share your love, compassion, passion and heart for the lost and to show them how deeply You care for them as well. You have not given up on them, I pray that I will not either. No one is too far gone for You, O Lord. I pray that I will not forget this. Please, if You are willing, use me for Your Kingdom purposes.

Lord May You and You alone be glorified. Amen.

Soli Deo gloria,

Crystina

30 Days of Devo Challenge: Day 6

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It was bound to happen, I suppose, that there would be a day I didn’t add a devotional despite ‘challenging’ myself to. I don’t really have an excuse, my priorities were off – I was distracted by Twitch, YouTube and Discord and the day disappeared.

I did read Bible yesterday, in that I was reading/re-reading Hebrews 7-8 for recording purposes. But I don’t know if I really took time to reflect on what I was reading. In addition, I was not satisfied with any of my reading takes so eventually gave up. (I did complete the recording today though.)

Today I also re-read most of Ephesians as part of Friday fellowship in the evening (very fitting that one of the themes is unity during times like this). There is a lot to think upon, but primarily I am taking time to really consider if I am being a good ambassador for Christ or living a godly life.

Can people tell that I live for Someone greater than myself? Am I even living for Someone greater than myself? Do my words reflect the love of Christ? Does my heart reflect that of one forgiven from their many sins? Do I show grace the way I am shown grace? If I’m honest, I think the answer a lot of the time is ‘no’.

Lord Jesus,

I am sorry that I so often forget You in my life. Though You are to be the centre of my life and being, so often I place You as an afterthought. Yet without You I would have no life. Lord, I thank You that You continue to convict and bring me back before Your presence. I thank You for dying on the cross for my sins… You suffered the sinner’s death that I deserved and gifted me grace that I do not deserve and could never earn.

Lord, please, please, please do not let me continue to take it for granted. Do not let me go a day without kneeling before You and remembering Your sacrifice, Lord. Let my heart be filled with gratitude for Your love, let that love flow outwards in my attitude towards others as well. King Jesus, You are highly exalted above the heavens… please take your rightful place as King of my heart. May I live for you.

Lord, please give me an eagerness for the spread of Your Kingdom and Your gospel. Grant me a heart for the lost as You care for them. Grant me eyes to see how to reach out to them in a loving way. Grant me a heart that loves those whom You love, especially my brothers and sisters, with whom I am reconciled by your blood and have unity with by Your Spirit.

In the wake of the election, I still pray that regardless of what the result is, that those who call themselves Christians – especially myself – will respond in a manner that is glorifying to You. May You and You alone be glorified. Amen.

Soli Deo gloria,

Crystina

30 Days of Devo Challenge: Day 4

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Heavenly Father,

Thank you for today, for Your guidance and Your peace, for indeed it has been a peaceful day for me. Thank You for the opportunity to have had fellowship once again with my sisters in Christ during small group. Thank You for Your gift of grace – that is, the indwelling of Your Holy Spirit, so that I might enjoy fellowship with You and share in Your love.

However, I realise that events of the past couple of days have been a source of turmoil for many people, so I pray that Your peace may extend to those who are still feeling anxious for one reason or another. Please let Your presence be made known to them. I continue to lift up prayers for the election… Please continue to guide those who are counting the votes, continue to guide those who are in positions of authority, I also pray for the hearts of everyone who is following election news.

I pray that by some miracle, if it is Your will, that this election will not split an already divided nation further. I still pray that regardless of what the result is, that those who call themselves Christians – especially myself – will respond in a manner that is glorifying to You. But above all else, I pray all this only if it is in accordance with Your will. May You and You alone be glorified. Amen.

Soli Deo gloria,

Crystina

30 Days of Devo Challenge: Day 3

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Heavenly Father,

My heart is a little heavy and weary today, but You already knew that. The elections are in Your hands and that is not what I am saddened by, but rather it hurts my heart to see the polarisation and division within this nation that is supposed to be one, united under God.

Lord, I know that no matter what happens all of it would be according to Your sovereign will, but I still wish to lift up my voice to join with the prayers of the Saints.

I pray for the elected leader to be one that may bring times of peace to this nation, that conditions may be favourable for the spread of Your gospel, that more people will come to be saved and called into your family through Jesus, that through Jesus we may all be united and that America may indeed be one nation under the One true God. May you comfort hearts of those who are anxious or weary this week. May we come to you and find rest.

I pray that regardless of what the result is, that those who call themselves Christians – especially myself – will respond in a manner that is glorifying to You. But above all else, I pray all this only if it is in accordance with Your will. May You and You alone be glorified. Amen.

Soli Deo gloria,

Crystina

30 Days of Devo Challenge: Day 2

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Today I have been distracted. In fact, I have fallen back into wasting time. Another day has flown by where, after exercising in the morning, I went about my day eating and being entertained by YouTube, Sudoku or even Discord. Many times I’ve thought, “I should read my Bible and do my devotional.” Every time, I failed to do it.

It’s also been on my to-do list to finish reading the next chapters (and indeed, catch up/properly read some previous chapters) of the book “Delighting in the Trinity,” which is a wonderful book on the doctrine of the Trinity that we are going through in my Wednesday small group. I picked up the book a few times, flipped through the pages, didn’t really register its contents and promptly became distracted again.

How telling it is; how revealing of where my priorities lie, and it’s not a pretty sight. And yet, how appropriate and merciful it is for God to start this challenge by revealing the darkness and sin of idolatry within my heart, for I have no doubt that since it has been revealed, God will be working in me to deal with it.

And since it is so blatantly obvious, I’ll also be reflecting on this. Sigh, it is all too easy for me to be distracted by the things of this world and fall into idolatry. A verse that comes to mind is what Paul wrote in Philippians, “…Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12b-13)

Paul was giving instruction to the saints in Philippi who were facing persecution to remain firm in their faith and continue to live out godly lives. I don’t suffer the same persecution in 21st century America, how much more so should I be able to live out a godly life and yet don’t.

The principles are timeless, so I do believe it is still applicable to me today in a similar way. I don’t suffer persecution, but I am faced with temptation. It is still appropriate for me to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. But thanks be to God, it is He who works in me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

I will work, but the One who is ultimately going to accomplish it all is God Himself. May He realign my priorities so that I might love Him first and foremost with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.

Heavenly Father,

You are such a gracious God. Though You are Almighty, Alpha and Omega, creator of Heaven and Earth, high above all else, You remain merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Thank You that through the blood of Jesus, I am forgiven and You no longer count my sins against me, though they are vast as the ocean. Thank You that you continue to reveal the depth of my sin for my good and sanctification; I pray that You will continue to work in me, to grow and conform me to the image of Your Son, for Your glory. Thank you for Jesus, without whom I would still be dead in my trespasses, and thank You for Your Spirit, without whom I would still have a heart of stone, eyes that cannot see You, and a life that is incapable of fellowship with You.

Lord God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – please realign my priorities so that You may take your rightful place as King of my heart. Above all else, may You and You alone be glorified. Amen.

Soli Deo gloria,

Crystina