Welcome to Daily Steps!
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings and prayer prompts to help you spend time with, and draw closer to Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:8-12 "We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” (NLT)
Hope in His Dwelling
It was the start of an ordinary year. Same routines, get up, brush teeth, drink coffee, get kids to school, go to work, work out, pick up kids, make dinner, clean up, watch TV, scroll social media, go to bed and do it all over again. Then it all changed—the world, our community, our households hit pause and everything pivoted.
Can you name everything that has changed or been lost in the last four months? Collectively we've have faced sickness, death, unemployment, marriage struggles, anxiety, isolation, financial stress, and the list could go on and on. If there was one word to describe these experiences it would be grief. So often grief is only associated with death yet in the business of living, we are all experiencing a loss of connectedness, normalcy, stability, and a known future. How are you really doing? Take a moment to breathe. You are not alone.
God's word breathes encouragement to our lungs, whispers love into our ears and allows us to grieve what was. It teaches us to trust that God is in control and his character is unwavering. As Bible teacher, Jackie Hill Perry says, "If God's character changed or vacillated with every circumstance, he wouldn't be God... he'd be you."
Apostle Paul's letter gives us confidence that the paradox between grief and hope can co-exist because God's character never changes! Paul beautifully illustrates that we are fragile clay jars that can so easily break or crack under pressured circumstances. Yet, the contents of the jar are priceless because of God's dwelling in us. This truth gives us the strength, courage, and perseverance to live in the tension. Slowly read and take in the following truths about God's character that will give you hope to persevere day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.
Though we are pressed by job loss or juggling work and homeschooling, we are not crushed by the weight because God is good all the time. "Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!" (Psalms 34:8)
Though we are perplexed by the injustice we see on TV, read on our social scrolls, hear on the radio or experience, we are not in despair because our faith is not in human wisdom but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:5)
Though we may be persecuted for our beliefs, we will never be abandoned because God is all-knowing. We can trust that he knows everything we are going through today and tomorrow. He is Immanuel, God with us. “Am I not a God near at hand and not a God far off? Can anyone hide out in a corner where I can’t see him? Am I not present everywhere, whether seen or unseen?” (Jeremiah 23:23-24)
Though we may be struck down with news that events are not getting better, we are not destroyed because God's love is eternal and sovereign. He is glorious and his creation is infinitely beautiful. "His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden." (Habakkuk 3:4)
We are alive in Christ! Jesus is God! He came to earth and put on human-ness because he wanted so badly for us to know that he understands our pain and our grief. He endured death on a cross for our behalf, so we could have the relationship with God we were created for. He rose from the grave, gaining victory over death for us. He did all of this so that we would no longer have to be afraid; death has lost its power. Remember, his light gives hope in the midst of grief and it shines through you and gives hope to others. Grief gives way to meaning and that is HOPE.
Daily Bible Readings with Prayer Prompts
As you contemplate these passages throughout the week, make time to pray before you read them and then again, afterward. In each reading, ask God to show you what the verses mean specifically to you. God’s Word is alive, so even if you’re familiar with these Scriptures, approach them with an expectant heart and an open mind. God wants to spend time with you.
Monday — Read Psalm 34:8 and Psalm 100:5. These passages speak to the attribute of God's goodness. Write down whatever phrases or words stand out to you the most. Pray them back to God, asking His Spirit to search your heart for anything that stands in the way of you believing His unwavering goodness and kindness.
Tuesday — Read Genesis 1:1-31 and Habakkuk 3:4. God is glorious. He is infinitely beautiful and great. Go outside, sit at a park, take a walk, and soak in the glorious beauty of the earth. Listen to Hillsong's "So Will I" and spend time praising God for the intricacies of nature that bring restoration to the soul.
Wednesday — Read Psalm 139:7-10 and Jeremiah 23:23-24. If you are struggling with loneliness and deep sorrow, take time to meditate on the fact that God is always near us and “closer than our thoughts,” writes A.W. Tozer. “The knowledge that we are never alone calms the troubled sea of our lives and speaks peace to our soul.” Spend time reading these passages and write down the words or phrases that will remind you of God's omnipresence in your daily life.
Thursday — Read 1 John 4:7-8 slowly in several translations of the Bible. As with all attributes, we can only begin to comprehend God’s love in light of his other attributes. The love of God is eternal, sovereign, unchanging, and infinite. Write down how you have experienced God's love.
Friday— Read Isaiah 46:9-10. Because God is all-knowing, we can trust that he knows everything we’re going through today and tomorrow. When we meditate on this truth, especially in light of his other attributes of goodness and love, it makes it easier to trust him with all we have going on in our lives, from the very serious to the silly and mundane. Reflect back on the week and write down what gives you hope.
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
Grow closer to Jesus each day and explore what it means to experience Biblical hope.
Want to Go Even Further?
If you are not already using our weekly study guide with your community group or family members, you're missing out on thought-provoking questions for discussion or individual study.
SERMON STUDY GUIDE - ANCHORED - WEEK 3
Watch CF Beyond Sunday this Monday!
After each sermon, our pastors and various church leaders sit down for about 20 minutes to have a lively discussion about the weekend's topic. It will be posted on YouTube and the church website on Monday night, July 20!