One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional
Today’s Bible Reading: March 23
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Clicking on the Scripture links above will open a new window where you can read the scripture from the Holman Christian Standard Bible at Biblegateway.com or choose the Bible version you prefer to read. Check back each day to get the Scripture to read in the One Year Bible Reading Plan.
Praising God in the Unexpected
When was the last time you praised God out of the very depths of your soul? What about during the pandemic? Certainly this Coronavirus has been an unexpected and unwelcomed turn of events. It has required us to adapt to ever changing circumstances, face new fears, and learn how to do life differently. The CDC continue to post the number of people who have tested positive and the number who have died. In these times of the unexpected, can your soul magnify the Lord?
So how do we praise and magnify God in such a time? Or how do we give him the praise worthy of him whenever life pitches a curveball our way? It really depends on where our focus is. If we focus on the unexpected problem, we’ll become discouraged, fearful, or depressed. But when our focus is on the God of our Salvation, we can praise Him for His goodness, even in the unexpected.
Mary’s praise at some unexpected news
Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus. A young, unwed teen who would become pregnant and have to explain to family, friends, relatives, and her fiancé’ that the child she carried was placed within her by God and that she was still a virgin. We see her total surrender and obedience to God’s plan in Luke 1:39 when Mary says to the angel, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Surely the cost of her obedience went through her mind. Would Joseph believe her? What would her community think? Perhaps she wondered what it would cost her unborn child as he grew up with the whispered comments behind his back about who his father was.
The Bible does not tell us what went through Mary’s mind as the angel revealed God’s plan to her. Only that she surrendered to God, no matter the cost, and she gave all the praise and glory to God. The day the angel appeared to Mary was just as unexpected as the Coronavirus. But yet, Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and she rejoiced in God. Her song of praise is recorded in Luke 1 and can be our example for when our unexpected moments occur.
Cultivating a heart of genuine praise
It is easy when the curveball of life flies at top speed toward us to panic, feel overwhelmed, or lost in the chaos. But if we purposefully cultivate a heart of genuine praise, then we will be able to praise God in the unexpected moments of life – even when those moments are scary, difficult, unwanted, or sorrowful. When we take the time to just sit and meditate on all that God has done for us and how He provides and meets our needs each and every day, our first response should be a heartfelt, genuine praise.
From Christ’s finished work on the cross that provides our salvation, to God’s mercies that are new every morning, for his provision to meet our financial needs, for healing, for seeing us through a difficult time, for peace, for comfort, for never leaving us – every single aspect of our life should be offered back to Him as a worship of praise for His greatness and love. As we focus on these things, we see the fingerprints of God all over our lives and we experience Him in a real and personal way that results in our soul magnifying the Lord.
When the unexpected occurs, take time to meditate on God’s goodness
Take some time today to meditate on God’s goodness to you and spend some time praising Him from the very depths of your soul. Start with reading the entirety of Mary’s praise in Luke 1:46-55. Then think back through the last year and write down the times that God has seen you through your unexpected moments in life. Now, write our your own song of praise to the Lord who is worthy of all our praises. Let this song by the Prestonwood Church choir help you praise and magnify God today.
Father, we magnify you today for your greatness and love. We praise you, we lift you up. We honor you. You are worthy of all our praises. You are Holy, Righteous, Rock of Ages, Most High, Promise Keeper, Shepherd, Faithful, Savior, my Strong Tower, Comforter, Mighty Warrior, Great Jehovah, Victor, Helper, Redeemer, Sovereign Master, Creator, Healer, Excellent, Incredible, Omnipotent, and Infallible.
#ReadYourBible #Joshua #Luke #mysoulmagnifiestheLord #Jesus #priaseintheunexpected
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Week 12: March 21-27, 2022
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God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars
by Julia M. Bruce
What’s Inside God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars?
This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
- Scripture to memorize and meditate on
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- Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages
- Romance Builders
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- Personal reflections
- Date ideas
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