TRUST = PEACE

PERFECT PEACE
Read Isaiah 26:1–12

 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV
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Throughout history men have searched for peace which always seems to elude them. Isaiah speaks of a future day of peace when Jesus will rule and reign on earth: He says, “Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.” (26:2)

We are still waiting for a nation that keeps faith, but we do not have to wait to experience His peace – it is a gift given to us when we trust in the Lord. The confidence that God is our Rock, the ultimate in stability, brings peace to the soul.   Isaiah writes,   “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.” (26:4) If we are going to accomplish anything of eternal value in our lives, it will be by trusting Him.
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Lord, help us to rest patiently in faith as we wait for Your perfect plan for our lives. You have been faithful to us in the past and like Isaiah we can say, “LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.” (26:12)
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     “Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”  Isaiah 26:8 NIV

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ADAM AND EVE

THE GOD WHO SEES ME

Read Genesis 1:26–3:24

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,”… male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26a, 27b NIV
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God created the heavens and the earth and all the living things that inhabited its boundaries. Then He created the first man in the likeness of Himself and He called him Adam. Adam named all the animals and found none among them that could cure his loneliness. So God made from Adam’s side a woman, and Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. (Genesis 3:20) Both husband and wife were fashioned in the image of the triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
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Dear Father, that little word “us” is our first glimpse of the Trinity, all present when You created the first married couple in Your image –…

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GOD WITH US

ISAIAH THE PROPHET

Read Isaiah 7:10-14, 9:1-7; Matthew 1:18-2:6

     All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”-which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22–23 NIV
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The book of Isaiah was written about 700 years before Christ was born and is filled with prophesies about the coming Messiah. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Joseph, he quoted Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Jesus would be called, “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6b)
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Isaiah prophesied that this Holy Child would live “In Galilee of the Gentiles.” saying, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” (Isaiah 9:1b-2 NKJV)
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Dear Lord, You truly are my Wonderful Counselor and I am so thankful that the light of the gospel has shined on me. Just as Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus, help me to tell the good news wherever I go, especially to members of my family. Keep me faithful in reading Your Word so that I will have something fresh to share with my family and friends.
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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NIV

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SATISFACTION IN WORK

“THIS IS THE GIFT OF GOD”

Read Ecclesiastes 11–12

    ” Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” Ecclesiastes 11:6 NIV
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When Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes, he was old and looking back on his selfish life. With his God-given wisdom still intact, he looks at all of his achievements and comes to an interesting conclusion: “I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil-this is the gift of God.” (3:12-13)
He encourages young men to seek God early in life, saying, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come–“(12:1 NKJV) Solomon discovered that wisdom without God’s blessing is meaningless. He said, “All things are wearisome, more than one can say… What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again.” (1:8-10)
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Lord, help me to resist this attitude toward my daily responsibilities. Perhaps if I pray for each family member as I fold clothes, the task of laundry won’t seem so endless. Thank you for the gift of children and a husband who sits at our table each evening. Help me to serve them with a joyful spirit, remembering that “this is the gift of God.”
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 “Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work–this is a gift of God.”   Ecclesiastes 5:19 NIV

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BEAUTIFUL TREASURES

THE BEAUTIFUL HOME

Read Proverbs 24

     By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24:3–4 NIV

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     Throughout the Proverbs of Solomon, he refers to wisdom as treasure to be eagerly sought out and cultivated. He said, “Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you…” (24:14)
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     There is no better place for wisdom to grow than in our Christian homes. The beautiful home will be furnished with more than lovely possessions. True riches, if nurtured, will dwell in the hearts of our children. First, we must seek wisdom for ourselves as parents, cultivating our love for each other and the Lord; then we will have an abundance of treasure to share with our children. This is a lifelong process, but the time we have to invest in our children is all too short.
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     Lord, help us to cultivate the fields of our own hearts so that we will have a harvest of treasures to bring into our home. Help us to remember that “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4 NKJV) Give us love for each other and the wisdom we need to lead our children in the ways of the Lord.
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     Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. Proverbs 24:27 NIV
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THE REWARD OF CHILDREN

BLESSING AND PROSPERITY

Read Psalms 127–128

      Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. Blessings and prosperity will be yours; Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house… children are a reward from him. Psalm 128:1-2b, 3a; Psalm 127:3b

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     The Psalms portray children as a sign of blessing and prosperity. The Psalmist declares, “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.” (127:3-4) Along with this blessing, however, comes a warning: Unless the LORD builds the house its builders labor in vain. (127:1)
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     God promises that if we put Him first in our lives we will eat the fruit of our labors–a blessed home. But when we focus on what the world expects of us, working long hours and doing too much, our lives become unbalanced. When this happens, the Psalmist says, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat–for he grants sleep to those he loves.” (127:2)
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     Dear Father, I pray for the peace and rest that comes from focusing on You, even when I am busy. Help me to order my priorities according to Your perfect will. Thank You for the blessings of children.
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     May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life… and may you live to see your children’s children.   Psalm 128:5–6 NIV

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A LIGHT FOR MY PATH

A LAMP TO MY FEET

Read Psalm 119

     I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.  Psalm 119:104–105 NIV
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     Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the book and the theme is heart rending – David has experienced it all. He agonizes over wicked men delighting in his troubles and the memories of sin in his own life. Sincerely repentant, he says, “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” (v.32)
     Now as he seeks the Lord with all of his heart he determines to continue to walk in freedom from sin. Hiding God’s Word in his heart, he finds that he has more insight and understanding than all of his teachers. He has answers for those who taunt him, and comfort in his suffering. He says, “Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts.”  (Psalm 119:140–141)
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     Lord, help us to faithfully teach our children from the Bible and help them to hide it in their hearts. Through the Psalmist You promised that Your faithfulness continues through all generations. Like David, I have put my hope in your word. (Psalm 119:90,114)
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     How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:9–11 NIV
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