Daily Devotions

Today we deal with the new reality of the coronavirus and how it is impacting our lives, our communities and our world. As people of faith, we are called to courage and compassion and we are called to let our light shine! We offer you devotions based on Faith Inkubators’ Faith5™  that will help us stay connected and keep our lights burning. This is a simple, 5-step daily devotion that can be used by families gathered together, by friends over the phone, or by individuals in their homes.


Saturday, April 4
Hymn: “Great is Thy Faithfulness”

1. Share your highs and lows.

2. Read the words of (or sing) the hymn:

Great Is Thy Faithfulness”- Verse 1

“Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with thee; thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not, as thou hast been thou forever wilt be. Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is- thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.”

Text: Thomas O. Chisholm, 1886-1960
Music: William M. Runyan, 1870-1957

3. Talk about and think about how the words of the hymn might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

* What does the faithfulness of God mean to me?

* Where do you see the faithfulness of God in your life?

4. Pray for each other and all in need. Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other or yourself by making the sign of the cross on your forehead.

 


Friday, April 3
Daniel 6: 19-23

1. Share your highs and lows.

2. Read the Bible verses:
“At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lion’s den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

Daniel answered, ‘O king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.’

The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”

3. Talk about and think about how this Bible verse might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

* How did Daniel trust in God?

* How did God rescue Daniel?

* Name a time that you trusted in God?

* Has God ever rescued you or spared you from danger?

4. Pray for each other and all in need. Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other or yourself by making the sign of the cross on your forehead.

 


Thursday, April 2
Esther 4: 12-16

1. Share your highs and lows.

2. Read the Bible verses:
“When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer. “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

3. Talk about and think about how this Bible verse might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

* How is Esther courageous and brave?

* When have you needed to be courageous and brave?

* How can God help you in times when you are nervous or scared?

4. Pray for each other and all in need. Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other or yourself by making the sign of the cross on your forehead.

 


Wednesday, April 1
Luke 2: 8-12


1. Share your highs and lows.

2. Read the Bible verses:
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to all people on whom his favor rests.'”

3. Talk about and think about how this Bible verse might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

* What does the Christmas story mean to you?

* Name one of your favorite Christmas memories.

4. Pray for each other and all in need. Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other or yourself by making the sign of the cross on your forehead.

 


Tuesday, March 31
1 Samuel 17: 37-40

1. Share your highs and lows.

2. Read the Bible verses:
“The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. Saul said to David, Go and the Lord be with you. Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. I can not go in these, he said to Saul, because I am not used to them. So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.”

 3. Talk about and think about how this Bible verse might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

* Was David worried or scared to face the Philistine giant named Goliath?

* As David prepares to battle with Goliath, where did David’s trust and confidence come from?

* Where do we put our trust and confidence?

4. Pray for each other and all in need. Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other or yourself by making the sign of the cross on your forehead.

 


Monday, March 30
Genesis 22:15-18

1. Share your highs and lows.

2. Read the Bible verses:
“The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

3. Talk about and think about how this Bible verse might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

* What does it mean to you, when you look up at the night sky and stars, and consider God’s covenant with Abraham? Can you count them all?

* How is God going to Bless Abraham?

* When have you felt blessed by God in your life?

4. Pray for each other and all in need. Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other or yourself by making the sign of the cross on your forehead.

 


Sunday, March 29
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”

1. Share your highs and lows.

2. Read the words (or sing) the hymn.

“What a Friend We Have in Jesus” (verse 3)
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In his arms he’ll take and shield you, you will find a solace there.

3. Talk about or think about how the words of the hymn might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

* It sure seems as if we are feeling “weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care.” COVID-19 has made feel us all worried and stressed. So much seems out of our control. What does it mean to say that Jesus is our refuge at this time? How does that help us?

* The words of the hymn say that Jesus takes us in his arms and shields us. What a great comfort! How can that thought help us in the days ahead?

4. Pray for each other and all in need.  Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other.

 


Saturday, March 28
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”

Loren and I read a devotion each day called “God Pause” from Luther Seminary. During the week, the devotions focus on the Bible readings for that week. On weekends the devotions focus on hymns in our hymnals. When I am anxious and stressed and have trouble falling asleep, I often think of the words of hymns. After nearly 40 years of ministry, I know a lot of hymns! Thinking of the words and the melody of familiar hymns can be a comfort. On weekends, our Faith Five will take a look at the verse of a hymn.

1. Share highs and lows.

2. Read the words of (or sing) the hymn.

“What a Friend We Have in Jesus” (verse 1)
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pain we bear!
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

3. Talk about or think about how the words of the hymn might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

* What do friends do for us? How can we depend on them? What do you think it means to call Jesus our friend?

* The hymn assures us that Jesus doesn’t just want to hear from us when we are feeling good. Jesus assures us that prayer is honestly bringing Jesus our joys, our griefs, our fears, our hopes, and everything else. What would you like to share with your friend, Jesus, today?

4. Pray for each other and all in need. Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other.

 


Friday, March 27
Joshua 24:15b

1. Share your highs and lows.

2. Read the Bible verse:
“Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

3.Talk about or think about how the Bible verse might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

The people of Israel are ready to settle down in the land God promised to them. Their leader, Joshua, sets them an example to follow in this new land. He vows that he and his family will serve the Lord. In this new land of social distancing, how can we still serve the Lord?

And how can we continue to be good neighbors when we cannot be with neighbors right now?

4. Pray for each other and all in need. Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other.

 


Thursday, March 26
Exodus 13:21-22

1. Share your highs and lows.

2. Read the Bible verses:
“The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”

3. Talk about or think about how the Bible verse might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

* Moses did indeed go back to Egypt and followed God’s command to lead the people of Israel out of slavery and into the wilderness towards the promised land. God promises the people that God will be with them to lead them in a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire at night.

* We know that God promises to be with us and to lead us on this journey. In what ways do we “see” God leading us? Think about or talk about some of the “directions” in which God is leading us.

4. Pray for each other and all in need. Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other.

 


Wednesday, March 25
Exodus 3:1-3, 4b-5

1. Share your highs and lows.

2. Read the Bible verses:
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

3. Talk about or think about how the Bible verses might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

* It has been many years since Moses left the land of Egypt after killing an Egyptian. He has begun a new life. God breaks into this new life and calls Moses to return to Egypt and lead his people to the promised land. What might Moses have been thinking when he saw the burning bush? How does God come to us, in the midst of our lives and our fears and our hopes?

* Moses is told that he is standing on holy ground. We always think of the church as a holy place, but we will not be able to be in our church for a while. How might you describe a holy place? Where do you see holy places in your lives?

4. Pray for each other and all in need. Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other.

 


Tuesday, March 24
Genesis 28:10-13, 15

1. Share your highs and lows.

2. Read the Bible verses:
Jacob left Beer-sheba and went towards Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it… And the Lord stood beside him and said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.’”

3. Talk about or think about how the Bible verse might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

* Jacob is not just in Beersheba on vacation. He is running away from home. He has a guilty conscience because he has tricked his father and cheated his brother. He is alone and he is afraid. God breaks into the life of this miserable young man with a dream and a promise. How does God reach out to us during this scary time?

* Who are the people, that God surrounds us with, who help us when we are afraid?

* How does God’s promise, “Know that I am with you,” help us right now?

4. Pray for each other and all in need. Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other or yourself.

 


Monday, March 23
Genesis 12:1-4a

1. Share your highs and lows.

2. Read the Bible verses:
Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.”

3. Talk about or think about how the Bible verse might speak to your highs and lows.
Some thoughts to consider:

* Abram is being called by God to leave the life that he has known to go to an unknown land that God will eventually show him. How does that speak to our journey these days as we deal with the coronavirus?

* God promises to bless Abram. How does God continue to bless us?

4. Pray for each other and all in need. Pray for each other’s highs and lows.

5. Bless each other or yourself by making the sign of your cross on your forehead.