George Hayduke published a book in 1980 entitled “Get Even: The Complete Book of Dirty Tricks.” His suggestions for getting revenge ranged from humorous stunts to illegal antics that would surely land the perpetrator in jail. Apparently, though, getting even is something many people consider, because over the intervening 30 years Hayduke has published more than 20 sequels, all containing new, more creative ways to retaliate against those who may have wronged you.
“Vengeance is mine; I will repay.”…“the Lord will judge his people.” Hebrews 10:30
Other than as a possible source of amusement, reading Hayduke’s books should not be anywhere on your reading list. The time you spend pursuing vengeance is almost always time spent failing to do what the Lord has called you to. You will be treated unfairly – count on it. Before you expend God-given resources on a response, pray about whether He wants you to just forgive, and then move on.
The Lord sees and knows everything, and will balance the books in due time. And as you intercede for your nation’s leaders today, ask God to help them shun vengeance. Pray they would not be fixated on settling old scores, but would look upward and onward as they lead America.
Recommended Reading: Romans 12:9-21
A significant number of people around the world will be wearing green today, having fun but knowing little about the man for whom the day is commemorated. On the other hand, there is a great deal of information about another man, Jesus, and not nearly the following.
But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”John 4:32
St. Patrick died, but Jesus lives on! Today’s verse comes during the time when Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman at the well. Without her explanation, He knew the lifestyle she had led. He knew she lived with a man not her husband. He knew she needed the life-giving water He was eager to give her.
His joy was sharing the good news with her. It was exhilarating for Him. So much so, He was still feasting on that spiritual uplift from talking with the woman when the disciples returned with physical food for Him. He was filled with joy – the “food” they did not know about.
Jesus knew about her and He knows about you…your every need, care and desire (Psalm 139). Let that give you comfort and encouragement as you pray for His will in your life. Then intercede for this nation that it may know Christ – and be filled with Him.
Recommended Reading: Job 23:1-3; 8-14
Great imaginations, lucid dreams, altered states of consciousness or substantive changed states of being – researchers around the world are seeking to determine the reality of out-of-body experiences. Scientific opinions and ideas tend to discount one significant thing: the spiritual self of the persons claiming to have such an event in their lives. Whatever your personal perspective, realize that there is validity to the recorded experiences that cannot be understood.
I do not know, God knows. II Corinthians 12:3
In his testimonial second letter to the people of Corinth, Paul tells of a man who was placed in an altered state of consciousness in order to receive revelation from the Lord. Theologians disagree on what actually happened. Yet unlike many authors on bookshelves today, Paul records that the impact of such experiences on him was humility. Whether a vision or a modified state of reality, such things, he says, only God knows.
During the world’s difficult and trying times in which you live, you can be confident that God does know – He knows you, he knows the nation’s leaders, He knows the future, and He knows the times. Let yourself be humbled before such knowledge, and intercede for those in authority to trust their futures to Him.
Recommended Reading: II Corinthians 12:1-12
For centuries, people have sought ways to determine if someone is lying. Ancient Chinese and Hindu civilizations asked “suspects” to put a grain of rice in their mouth. If the rice was dry when he spit it out, or if it stuck to his mouth, he was considered guilty. Today, the polygraph – or “lie detector” – doesn’t detect lies at all, but shows physiological changes in a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and perspiration that may suggest they’re trying to hide something. Neither method is accurate. How things appear on the outside doesn’t necessarily match what’s real on the inside.
You, Lord, who know the hearts of all. Acts 1:24
God, though, always knows the inside. In today’s verse, the disciples were replacing Judas and prayed for the Lord to reveal the best choice by looking at the hearts of those selected. They couldn’t choose by looking at outward behavior. They had to know what was really going on inside.
Does your outside and inside match? God knows, even if no one else does. Pray today for the Lord to create a clean heart in you (Psalm 51:10) so you’ll be genuine and free of deception. Intercede also for the nation’s leaders’ hearts to be aligned with God’s Word and for their actions to have total integrity.
Recommended Reading: I Samuel 16:6-13
It’s amusing to hear of the lady who drove her car into the lake because her GPS said “take a left,” or of the chauffeur who saved his passengers after he realized he’d turned onto the tracks of an oncoming train because the GPS told him to “turn right at the next intersection.” These stories are entertaining – especially since you believe it could never happen to you.
It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority – Acts 1:7
Yet you meet people every day that are completely lost in life, not knowing where they are, or even where they are going. They don’t realize God is all-knowing, all-powerful and has all authority in directing every event in their lives. In the Bible, Jesus says He has prepared a place for those who want to be with Him and, by following His path, will arrive at a wonderful destination. But that’s only if His GPS, spoken from His Word or heard in prayer, is being heeded.
Pray America’s leaders will take an honest, thoughtful look at the directions they’re following for their lives and decisions. Ask God to reveal Himself to them, and that they’d heed His perfect plan for themselves and for this great nation.
Recommended Reading: John 14:1-14
The average intelligence quotient is between 70 and 130, accounting for about 95 percent of the population. An IQ of 140 or higher is considered a true genius, but describes less than one percent of people. Albert Einstein was thought to have an IQ between 160 and 180. Even still, he didn’t know everything.
Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.John 21:17
Only God, creator of all things, knows all things. He knows the past, present and future (Revelation 22:13). He knew all of your days before they came to be (Psalm 139:16). His knowledge surpasses that of theoretical physicist Steven Hawking or brilliant inventor Thomas Edison. But your Heavenly Father isn’t a “know-it-all,” someone who just claims to know everything. God actually does know it all.
Peter told Jesus in today’s verse, “Lord…you know that I love you.” But does God know that you do? Do you show Him with your words and deeds? Take time today to marvel at the God who knows all things, and ask Him to help you live in a way that shows reverence for His omniscience. Then pray for the sovereignty of God to be revealed to your nation’s leaders in a way that’ll personally impact their lives and decisions.
Recommended Reading: John 21:15-19
Many people consider Albert Einstein to be one of the smartest people in history. The beginnings of Einstein’s theory of relativity came from an essay he wrote at age 16. By 26, Einstein had published five major research papers in a German journal and received a doctorate for one. Because of his counsel, the U.S. government established the Manhattan Project, which developed the first two atomic bombs. Overall, Einstein’s contributions have had both a positive and negative impact on America today.
Even though the world does not know you, I know you. John 17:25
From the world’s perspective, a person’s great knowledge often can lead to wealth, fame and power. However, that doesn’t begin to compare to the Creator of the universe! God not only knows everything, but is the source of all knowledge. In today’s verse, Jesus’ prayer for His followers confirms that while the world doesn’t know the Father, the Son does. And because you know the Son, access to His vast knowledge is yours as well.
God knows your past, present and future. You can trust Him because He wants the best for you. Spend time talking to God and reading His Word. Ask Him to reveal His plans for you each day. Pray also that America and its leaders truly seek God’s knowledge for their daily decisions.
Recommended Reading: Psalm 33:12-22
A shepherd boy amused himself by crying wolf and watching the townspeople scurry in defense of their sheep. But it got old after awhile and when a wolf really did come, they ignored him. Most people are aware of Aesop’s fable, but unaware of something similarly unfolding in America and the world.
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:13
As today’s verse clearly states, no one knows the hour of the coming of Christ, but through the years people have thought otherwise: Edgar C. Whisenant’s “Eighty-Eight Reasons…,” speculation about the Mayan calendar, and other false prophecies prove it. The result is apathy. In the last days, people will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” (II Peter 3:4)
Jesus didn’t say when He was returning, but He did say to be ready. And the parable in Matthew 25 admonishes people to be about doing His will. You may wonder if your daily routine has anything to do with God’s plan. When in doubt, obey the Lord’s greatest commandments: love God and love others. Then be watchful for the people in your life and for this nation in prayer (Colossians 4:2).
Recommended Reading: Matthew 25:31-46
During the recent presidential campaign, donors in California paid $40,000 each for the opportunity to eat dinner with George Clooney and President Obama. Meanwhile in Florida, supporters of Governor Mitt Romney paid $50,000 a plate for lunch with the Republican nominee. Getting access to important people in this world can be difficult, and sometimes it takes money – a lot of it.
All the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him.Luke 6:19
As Jesus ministered in Galilee, people scrambled to be close to Him. But their motives did not involve a quest for influence, fame or prestige. They simply wanted to be healed. Scripture tells you their faith was immediately rewarded. You can’t physically reach out and touch Jesus as they did during His earthly ministry, but still…He’s just that close. The Savior is ready to minister to you, as He has always been.
Will you take the time to reach out in prayer for His power? Today, ask God to touch your neighborhood and your nation with His truth and love. You can be sure He will respond – not to your funds, but to your faith.
Recommended Reading: Psalm 86:1-10
There’s nothing more exciting! The last trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise. And those who are alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (I Thessalonians 4:16-17). The God who raised Jesus from the tomb will come for you if you believe in Him.
And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power-I Corinthians 6:14
What power! What a glorious thought! What comfort it should give as you go through your day. If God has the power to do all that, does He not also have the ability to help you through a difficult time, a crippling illness, a grievous loss or a life-changing tragedy? He does, Beloved one, He does! Know it, believe it and take hold of that fact!
Understood in context, today’s verse also refers to how you conduct yourselves as believers. Christ dwells within you and desires that you maintain purity within and without. Develop that loving relationship He wants with you by keeping in His Word. Let His power and love for you be your encouragement. Then intercede for America’s leaders…that they may come to know Jesus and the life-altering impact He can have on their lives.
Recommended Reading: Psalm 73:1-4; 23-28
On July 13, 1977, New York City suffered a massive blackout as lightning downed major transmission power lines supplying the grid into the metropolitan area. According to the Blackout History Project, looters broke into stores, taking merchandise and destroying local businesses. Within two days, police had arrested 3,766 looters and the city had suffered an economic blow placed at more than $300 million.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. Acts 1:8
Christ’s grid for victorious living involves power, too, but not the kind lost with a lightning storm. Before Jesus left the Earth, He told His disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they had received the power of the Holy Spirit. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13)
God offers the gift of the Holy Spirit to all who believe. You only have to receive it. Without that gift of power, you’ll be in the dark. You can’t have His light without power (John 8:12). Ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit and “speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31) Then pray for your nation’s leaders to recognize the true power of God, and for it to be supplied into their lives.
Recommended Reading: Acts 4:23-31
How much does water weigh? When you dive under it, you feel no weight of it. But fill a tub with water and balance it on your head and the burden will soon make you weary. The same can be said of sin.
Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
The ones who have been led into sin and continue in it are deceived and hardened by it until they become cocky in their disregard of others and make a mockery of sin. They rarely will see the wrong in what they do and are not weighed down by it. Proverbs 10:23
But if you begin to be aware of what sin is and what it is doing in your life, you will experience a weight that becomes ponderous and burdensome. Wisdom and understanding come to the person who understands their sin and its consequence. You can delight in knowing that Christ took your sin on Himself to give you a cleansed heart.
Beloved, pray that this nation realizes it is under the weight of sin. It is not a joke and there are consequences. Ask God to reveal His truth and revive the hearts of all – leaders and citizens alike.
Recommended Reading: Hebrews 12:14-28
In the 1980s, John McEnroe was the talk of the nation, not only because of his talent for tennis, but because of his temper. He’s still on top 10 lists for worst temper tantrums. Though he’s one of the greatest tennis players of all time, he’s forever remembered for shouting, “You cannot be serious!”
The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult. Proverbs 12:16
When someone hurts you, losing your temper only gets you in trouble or hurts others. It can help to meditate on verses like these: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31); “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1); and, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires.” (James 1:19-20)
When antagonized, ask God to help you “walk away.” And pray the nation’s leaders will be able to talk together over hot topics and come up with solutions using kindness and restraint, not stirring up hatred and antagonism.
Recommended Reading: Luke 4:20-30