Romans 15:1-13

15 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,
6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed
9 and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:

“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing the praises of your name.”

10 Again, it says,

“Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.”

11 And again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;
let all the peoples extol him.”

12 And again, Isaiah says,

“The Root of Jesse will spring up,
one who will arise to rule over the nations;
in him the Gentiles will hope.”

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus, Suffering Servant, teach us to model ourselves after You. Fill our hearts with joy and thanksgiving as we share Your life and love with one another. By the power of Your Holy Spirit help us to protect and build up those who are weak. Bring all Your people together in unity, Lord – weak and strong, rich and poor, young and old – so that with one heart and one mind we might glorify our Father in heaven and bring praise to Your wonderful name.

Romans 12:12-21

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Now that I am alive in Christ, help me to live like Christ. May the presence of Your Holy Spirit be manifested through my life to those around me. May I abound in the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And let everything I do be done for Your glory, O God, and bring praise to Your holy name.

Romans 12:1-2

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
In light of Your kind mercy to me, dear Father, I offer to You my whole self without reservation, holding nothing back. My body is now Your temple. I am no longer my own; I was bought at a price. Therefore, I will honor You with my body. I will live as one who has been crucified with Christ, and who lives again in Him, through Him, and for His glory. I bring every thought captive to obedience to Christ. I make a covenant with my eyes to keep them pure. I offer You my hands and feet for the service of Your ministry. Come and fill me with Your Spirit, Lord, and teach me to live a life that is worthy of Your calling and that conforms with Your good, pleasing and perfect will.

Ezekiel 2: – 3:4

8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”
9 Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.
3 And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.
3 Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
4 He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them.
Lord, as I approach Your Holy Word, may I never take it lightly. You have taken such care to preserve it through the ages. May I take equal care to cherish it this day. Help me to come to Your Word as I would to a fine meal—not just to taste it, but to savor it, to take it in and absorb it into the very fabric of my being. And then, out of the abundance of my heart may my mouth speak the Truth of God.

Acts 1:4-8

4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before.

5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
The Ascension of Jesus

6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Father, as You promised, You sent the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, to testify about Jesus Christ and to give power to all who believe in Him. I stand before You believing in His name, having been sealed with Your Holy Spirit. When You empower me, I am set free to please You and to live as Your child. Enable me today to keep in step with You and to be Your witness wherever I go.

1 Kings 19:1-18

When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. 2 So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.”

3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. 4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”

5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” 6 He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.

7 Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”

8 So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai,[a] the mountain of God. 9 There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

15 Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. 16 Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi[b] to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet. 17 Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! 18 Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”

You know me so well, Lord. You know my fears and my limitations. And, like Elijah, sometimes the journey is just too much for me, Lord, when I am afraid and ready to quit, let me feast on the bread of Your Word and the water of Your Spirit. Visit me with Your manifest presence and speak to me with Your still small voice. Renew my vision and send me on this great adventure of faith.

Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

We thank You, Father, that You have not left Your church defenseless. Rather, You have called us to the battleground of prayer and have fully equipped us each day to carry forward the Gospel of Christ as we wage war against the evil one. Teach us to preach, to pray and to persevere; and as the dust settles after each victory, may we be found standing our ground, prepared for the next foray into battle.

Psalm 63:1-8


1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Heavenly Father, You are our Lord and Master. As we seek You, we are filled by Your Living Water and our lives are richer by Your grace. You have provided blessings beyond number, more than the stars in the sky or the sand on the beach. We will sing YOur praises from morning to evening, and when we sleep we will remember You. Strengthen us as we cling to You; You are all the help we will ever need.

Matthew 8:2-3

2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.

Lord Jesus, You are so willing to meet us, if only we will come to You – if only we will reach out to You and ask. But so often we continue to wrap ourselves in the filthy rags of our own sinfulness. We become comfortable with our misery. O Lord, I don’t want to live without wholeness or holiness. Your healing is so near and so powerful. I know You are willing to touch me. I’m reaching out to You. Speak to me those powerful words, “Be clean.”

Matthew 7:7-12

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Lord, You have instructed us to keep asking for all that we need and want. You have taught us to keep seeking those things we cannot grasp. And You have told us to keep knocking on unopened doors. This affirms that we are utterly reliant upon You. You are our sole provider. You are the One who understands and explains all mysteries. You alone have the power to unlock the doors into the future. Apart from You, Lord, we can do nothing. But with You all things are possible.