VIDEO Spring Forward: Be a Prayer Warrior

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:18, NLT

Springtime is a great time to spring into action as a prayer warrior. The enemy is real, the battle is fierce, and we’re to wear the armor of God, “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

Is there someone you can fervently hold before the Lord in sustained prayer? A family member? A youngster? Your pastor? A neighbor in need? A missionary? A member of the armed forces?

Learning to pray for someone as a prayer warrior is an exercise in creativity. How would you go about it? Maybe by writing a biblical prayer every day. Maybe by pacing back and forth in verbal conversation with God as if talking to a friend. Perhaps in finding a prayer partner and interceding for this person regularly.

Someone needs your prayers this spring. Your prayers could, well, put a spring in their step!

You are active as a prayer warrior the moment you put words to your heartfelt feelings and talk to God about them. Your heart will be deployed to wherever God sends you in prayer. Stormie Omartian

The Armor of God: Praying at All Times (Ephesians 6:18-20)

The Reboot of Grace

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22–23

Over the last several decades, a new word has entered our movie vocabulary: reboot. In cinematic parlance, a reboot takes an old story and jumpstarts it. Some reboots retell a familiar tale, like a superhero story or a fairytale. Other reboots take a lesser-known story and retell it in a new way. But in each case, a reboot is a bit like a do-over. It’s a fresh start, a chance to breathe new life into the old.  

There’s another story that involves reboots—the gospel story. In it, Jesus invites us to His offer of forgiveness, as well as abundant and eternal life (John 10:10). And in the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah reminds us that God’s love for us makes every day a “reboot” of sorts: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (3:22–23).

God’s grace invites us to embrace each day as a fresh opportunity to experience His faithfulness. Whether we’re struggling with the effects of our own mistakes or going through other hardships, God’s Spirit can breathe forgiveness, new life, and hope into each new day. Every day is a reboot of sorts, an opportunity to follow the lead of the great Director, who is weaving our story into His bigger one.

By:  Adam Holz

Reflect & Pray

How do you think reflecting upon and remembering God’s faithfulness in the midst of trials changes your perspective on them? How has God’s forgiveness and grace brought a reboot to your life?

Father, thank You that Your grace and forgiveness invite me to start over, fresh, every morning.

Waiting for God to Intervene

Release your expectations and trust your heavenly Father to do what’s best. Psalm 27:13-14

Are you currently waiting for the Lord to intervene in your life or the life of a loved one? It can be difficult to understand why our heavenly Father delays matters that are urgent to us. Only He knows the reason. However, there are several adjustments we can make as we wait. 

Determine your focus. In the urgency of the moment, it’s easy to center our attention on the need instead of on God. We may start out waiting for the Lord, but before you know it, we’re more interested in what He can do for us than we are interested in Him. Remember, God wants us to delight in who He is, not just what He gives us. 

Release your expectations. The Lord is always working on our behalf. Holding onto your own assumptions about how the Lord should intervene is emotionally exhausting. But peace awaits those who trust that He will do what is in our best interest—in every situation we encounter. 

While we are waiting, God is working. He sees the entire picture and is active behind the scenes, arranging everything according to His will. But perhaps His most important work is the deepening of our relationship with Him as we learn to love and trust Him in the wait. 

An Eternal Holy Calling

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” (2 Timothy 1:9)

There appears to be an apparent conflict between God’s salvation, which was determined “before the world began,” and our present need to persuade men to believe the gospel (2 Corinthians 5:11). Jesus urged whoever was burdened to “come unto me” (Matthew 11:28), while insisting He had chosen His disciples rather than the other way around (John 15:16). Scripture often expresses this paradox.

Ephesians 2:8-9 states that our salvation is “not of works” but comes to us by the grace of God through faith—and even that faith is God’s gift. Few would argue that salvation is some sort of cooperative work between God and man, since there is no question that our salvation is not due to our efforts. Many passages verify that teaching.

Today’s text insists that our salvation was “according to his own purpose and grace.” Our salvation must meet the requirements set by God’s standards. Just what does that demand?

God must be holy and just while justifying the ungodly (Romans 3:26). His holiness cannot be compromised. Thus, the incarnate and sinless Redeemer had to be sacrificed in order to reconcile sinful man with a holy God (2 Corinthians 5:21 and Revelation 13:8b). Then, the absolute sequence of redemption through grace had to be determined for those “who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 and 1 Peter 1:2).

The result of the sacrifice and the sequence had to be fixed so that the redeemed would be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). Praise God for His “unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). HMM III

No Joy Allowed

Luke 19:29-44

THE triumphant entry of our Lord into Jerusalem (Luke 19:29-44) and the subsequent cleansing of the temple abound in lessons for the individual heart and for the church. Christ must first enter the heart as King through acceptance by faith. As many as receive Him receive power to become the sons of God, even those who believe on His name. And this coming of Jesus into the heart means joy. We read that when He entered Jerusalem, the disciples began to “rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen.” Of course the Pharisees objected and asked the Lord to rebuke His disciples, but He answered, “I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”

The church today suffers with a joyless experience. Christ is not joyfully acclaimed as King. A noiseless religion is the order of the day: no shouting, no amens, no hallelujahs. If some brother does occasionally grow happy, there is a wail from the Pharisees. But our Lord approved it and still does. When He enters a heart to reign, if ever there was something to rejoice about, certainly that ought to set the joybells ringing!

We still have the same types and classes that existed in our Lord’s day. We call them by different names, but the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the common people, the lame and sick, the disciples, are with us. You will observe that our Lord dealt with them in different ways.

After entering Jerusalem as King, He next cleansed the temple. When He enters the heart, He next cleanses it. He is priest as well as king. The church needs a mighty cleansing, for it has become a den of thieves today. So do our bodies, the temples of the Holy Spirit.

Then we read that the blind and lame came to Him, and He healed them. To those who would desecrate God’s house He brought a rod of anger; but to the needy, He was love and tenderness. Once again there was joy, for we read that the little children were crying “Hosanna to the son of David!” and the Pharisees were sore displeased. They asked Him, “Hearest thou what these say?” It was too much emotionalism, too sensational for the temple! But our Lord replied, “Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?” (Matt. 21:16).

It has ever been thus. God’s secrets have been kept from the wise and prudent and revealed unto babes. It is the childlike who enter the kingdom (Matt. 18:3). And when these simple-hearted believers begin to rejoice, the Pharisees always grumble. The note of joy has gone from our churches. It had been so long since there had been rejoicing in the old temple that the Pharisees were horrified. If somebody would grow happy today in some of these molded and musty churches, it would startle some of the old bench-warmers out of their wits. There couldn’t be less rejoicing in many of our churches today if No Joy Allowed were on the door as you enter.

His entrance and cleansing still bring joy. When Philip preached in Samaria, there was an exciting time with demons coming out and souls being saved. I read, “There was great joy in that city.” It has always been so, and we shall never see sinners converted until the lost joy of salvation is restored.

“The Lord heareth you murmurings.”

Exodus 15:22-27

Exodus 15:22

Their first trouble was too much water, the second is too little; our trials are of all kinds.

Exodus 15:23

This was tantalizing, they had water, but could not drink it.

Exodus 15:25, 26

God has provided remedies for all ills, sweetening trees for bitter waters, and the cross to sweeten all.

Exodus 15:27

It is not all rough work with pilgrims to Canaan, they have their pleasant seasons. Let them thank God for them.

Exodus 16:1-10

Exodus 16:1

It was strange that God should lead two millions of people into a desert, but wisdom directed his course. Strange providences are gracious providences.

Exodus 16:2

With shameful readiness they ran to a low-minded form of complaining. There was no spirit in them. The flesh pots and the bread were all they thought of; the brick-making and the whips they overlooked. It is easy to make out the past to have been bright when we wish to find fault with the present.

Exodus 16:4-5

Our mercies are tests; let us eat and drink to God’s glory.

Exodus 16:8

We think it a small thing to murmur, against parents and friends, but this sheds a new light upon the matter. It is clear that a discontented heart really murmurs against God himself.

Exodus 16:9, 10

This is a solemn truth; let all grumblers remember it.

The cross on which the Saviour died,

And conquer’d for his saints;

This is the tree by faith applied

To sweeten all complaints.

When we by faith behold the cross,

Though many griefs we meet;

We draw a gain from every loss,

And make our Marahs sweet


Concept of the Trinity: Infinite Love Poured Out

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ…. 1 Peter 1:2

We are surely aware that as human beings we can never know all of the Godhead. If we were capable of knowing all of the Godhead perfectly, we would be equal to the Godhead.

The early fathers in the church, in illustrating the trinity, pointed out that God the eternal Father is an infinite God, and that He is love. The very nature of love is to give itself but the Father could not give His love fully to anyone not fully equal to Himself. Thus we have the revelation of the Son Who is equal to the Father and of the eternal Father pouring out His love into the Son, Who could contain it, because the Son is equal with the Father!

Further, those ancient wise men reasoned, if the Father were to pour out His love on the Son, a medium of communication equal both to the Father and to the Son would be required, and this was the Holy Ghost!

So we have their concept of the Trinity—the ancient Father in the fullness of His love pouring Himself through the Holy Ghost, Who is in being equal to Him, into the Son Who is in being equal to the Spirit and to the Father!

Thus, all that man can know of God and His love in this life is revealed in Jesus Christ.

VIDEO Love Whom God Loves

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies. Matthew 5:43-44


A majority of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7) concerns correcting false teaching that had crept into Jewish religious practice. For example, in Matthew 5, Jesus said, “You have heard. . . . But I say to you” (verses 21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-39, 43-44). One of these six corrections concerned how to respond to enemies—those who persecute you.

In Leviticus 19:18, Moses wrote that the Jews were to love their neighbor. But the Jewish religious leaders in Jesus’ day added “and hate your enemy” (Matthew 5:43). Jesus corrected that false tradition by telling His audience that they should love their neighbor and their enemy. Why? Because God extends His grace—the blessings of nature—to the righteous and the unrighteous alike. And He said that there is no reward in loving only those who love you. Yes, loving one’s enemy is harder than loving those who love you. But we are to imitate God by loving those He loves (Matthew 5:48).

Thank God today that, even when we were His enemies, He sent His Son that we might be reconciled to Him (Romans 5:10).

Worst of all my foes, I fear the enemy within.  John Wesley

Loving Your Enemies as God Does

Recognizing God’s Voice

I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Acts 20:32

After years of research, scientists have learned that wolves have distinct voices that help them communicate with each other. Using a specific sound analysis code, one scientist realized that various volumes and pitches in a wolf’s howl enabled her to identify specific wolves with 100 percent accuracy.

The Bible provides many examples of God recognizing the distinct voices of His beloved creations. He called Moses by name and spoke to him directly (Exodus 3:4–6). The psalmist David proclaimed, “I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain” (Psalm 3:4). The apostle Paul also emphasized the value of God’s people recognizing His voice.

When bidding farewell to the Ephesian elders, Paul said the Spirit had “compelled” him to head to Jerusalem. He confirmed his commitment to follow God’s voice, though he didn’t know what to expect upon his arrival (Acts 20:22). The apostle warned that “savage wolves” would “arise and distort the truth,” even from within the church (vv. 29–30). Then, he encouraged the elders to remain diligent in discerning God’s truth (v. 31).

All believers in Jesus have the privilege of knowing that God hears and answers us. We also have the power of the Holy Spirit who helps us recognize God’s voice, which is always in alignment with the words of Scripture.

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

What false teaching has God helped you combat as you studied Scripture? When has He used the Bible to encourage you?

Dear God, when the noise of the world around me threatens to make me wander from You, please help me recognize and obey Your voice.

God Is Sovereign Over Delays

Waiting is difficult but we can relax, knowing that our Lord is active even in the details of our life. Proverbs 16:9

Most people don’t like to wait, but have you ever wondered why? One reason may be that delays reveal we are not in control. Someone or something else is calling the shots. 

Although we are often able to identify the immediate cause—like a traffic light or long checkout line—ultimately the One who controls all delays is the Lord. He is sovereign over everything in heaven and on earth, and even our time and schedules are in His hands. You might have thought that the expression “waiting upon the Lord” applies only to seeking guidance from Him or an answer to prayer. But it can mean so much more when you remember that He controls all your day-to-day inconveniences and frustrations. 

In the Christian life, patience is vital. Without it, we can’t effectively obey God, pray, or experience the peace of resting in His sovereignty. We must learn to trust His judgment—about not just the big events in our life but also the trivial ones that cause us to become irritated, impatient, or angry. 

The next time you face an unexpected or unwanted wait, remember that it comes as no surprise to God. He’s more interested in developing godly character than He is in making sure your schedule runs according to your plans.