Welcome to Daily Steps!
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings, prayer prompts, and action steps to help you spend time with Jesus and strengthen your relationship with Him.
1 Peter 1:14-15 “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy’.” (NIV)
Hope is the Gift of God
Hope gives us the strength to endure tough times. Being an integral part of our faith, it bestows us with the courage to look forward to a better future and provides the power to take action. Like an electronic gadget, it cannot work without power from a battery or external outlet. Similarly, in our life, we cannot function without hope. When we feel hopeless, we have no energy or drive, or willingness to take any action. Hope is the electricity supply of our lives.
Hope comes through God's word. God is asking us to live our lives in obedience. To obey Him, we need to live a holy life as Jesus did. When we obey God, He gives us the gift of hope, a state of mind in which the Holy Spirit can guide us. When we meditate on God's word, it fills our minds with hope. Even amid calamities, we will find the courage within us to get up and act as per God's will. This is nothing but the hope working in us, assuring us that we will get through the tough times and heal from our brokenness.
Jesus lived a life of complete surrender and obedience to his Father, and we can see an example of this when He was praying in the garden of Gethsemane the night before He was crucified. “Then He said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Then Jesus prayed to his Father, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’” A little later, Jesus prays, "My Father, if this cup can't be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done" (Matthew 26:38-39 & 42). Our Savior’s prayers demonstrate His mindset just before He would give His life in total submission to the will of God. The human side of Him wanted the suffering to be taken away, yet He surrendered to God's will because He had eternal hope in the things that would follow, which were all a part of His Father’s divine plan to save humanity. The Christian faith is grounded in this kind of obedience to God and gives hope to all of humanity. Hope and obedience go hand in hand to lead us into holiness. We obey God, and in turn, he gives us hope, hope for an imperishable future.
To be holy as 1 Peter 1:14-15 describes, we can choose to obey God in these fundamental ways:
Meditate on God's word – Incorporate the truth of Scripture into your heart and pray each day for discernment to know His will and to follow it in your life. When we ask God to do His will, we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit’s help to endure and grow through suffering, which will lead us – and everyone around us – toward a better future.
Do not conform to the evil desires of your heart - We need to let go of envy, anger, greed, lies, etc., which are all sins of the flesh. The more we practice obedience to God by resisting temptations, the stronger our faith will become.
Conduct ourselves in all of our relationships as Jesus would - Our internal holiness should reflect in our outward words and actions. The more we obey the Holy Spirit’s leading, the more we will develop the characteristics of Christ, such as patience, kindness, compassion, understanding, honesty, and generosity.
Live in prayerful awareness - Once we invite God to move in every aspect of our lives on a daily basis, from the smallest choices to the biggest decisions, we will become more aware of how He is calling us to change and obey. Our ways should conform to holy boundaries, and our generosity should be for the Lord's work and not for self-gratification.
Be holy in mind, body, and soul – We have access to an overwhelming amount of content through social media and different streaming channels. Be mindful of what you allow in your life. Do not indulge any of your senses in unholy content, even if it's only for entertainment. Stay away from any kind of addictions in your life.
Daily Bible Readings
Throughout the coming week, we will read about the eternal hope we can find only in Jesus. Although the world tells us that hope is found by building a secure life through a great education, a lucrative job, and good connections, the only true path to security is in Jesus. While we will all endure suffering, challenging times, and unpredictable health issues, walking closely to Jesus will be the difference between having hope or feeling overwhelmed.
Monday - Read 1 Peter 1: 3-4 and Colossians 3:2. Because of our hope in Jesus, we can look forward to eternal life. We accept it as grace and not as a result of our own efforts. This eternal life is our secure inheritance, kept in heaven where nothing can destroy it. As you meditate on this verse, pray that God helps you to set your heart on things above and not earthly achievements and riches.
Tuesday - Read Romans 8:24-25 and James 5:7. The most important part of hope is to wait patiently even though we do not know what the future will bring. When we bring our concerns to the Lord, again and again, we can grow tired of waiting. We can begin to feel like our prayers are falling on deaf ears. Often, we desire to take control and do what our mind suggests, which will not solve the problem and sometimes gets us into more trouble. The act of waiting patiently for God to change our circumstances is our act of faith in God's power. Rather than taking charge of the situation, we surrender it to God. This act of surrender does not mean that we are stuck. It only means that we put our faith in God rather than our circumstance. Confess any impatience in your heart to God and invite the Spirit to give you the strength to depend and wait on the Lord.
Wednesday – Read Jeremiah 17:14 and James 1:2-4. Our God is praiseworthy even during the most challenging times of life. In the midst of your suffering, pray to God that His will be done and for the strength to resist what your flesh desires. Human nature tries to eliminate any kind of suffering in life, so we often ask God to protect us from pain and grief. However, it is often through our sorrows and our brokenness, that we will find ourselves walking the most closely with Jesus and growing the most steadily in our faith.
Thursday - Read Psalms 62: 5-6 and Isaiah 40:31. True rest and renewal are found only in the presence of Jesus. There are many worldly remedies in which to find rest, like going on a vacation and other physical remedies, but where do you go when you need rest for your soul? Often, we may feel inwardly exhausted from struggling to bear the burdens of the world. While Jesus doesn’t promise to instantly resolve our troubles, He does promise rest and peace in the midst of life’s storms. Spend a few moments today simply saying His powerful name as you slowly breathe in and out. Allow the peace of His presence to wash over you.
Friday - Read Romans 15:13 and Acts 1:8. The power of the Holy Spirit can help us find rest, hope, and joy even in the midst of troubles. When the fruits of the Spirit take hold in us, we will bear witness to the glory of the Lord to everyone around us. Only by trusting fully in the Holy Spirit to give us strength, can we display peace and joy in the midst of trials and suffering.
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