Day 1 • 1 Samuel 1:1-18
We might fool others, but we will never fool Him, so why try? It does no one good. Instead, God wants us to be real with Him and with others. When we do, we see how God meets us in our greatest times of need—in our greatest anguish—to provide mercy, grace, love, and comfort. And we show others that they are not alone in their pain and can, too, cry out to the Lord.
What are some ways that you might be wearing a mask before others, or perhaps even before God?
Day 2 • 1 Samuel 1:19-28
.“Why would God finally give me a son, for me to abandon him? Surely that is not what He wants.”
We imagine this because it is what we would have likely done. We’d likely cheer Hannah on had she made the decision to keep her son. We might even want to see Hannah do this so that we might feel better. But that is not what we see. Instead, we see the shocking reality of Hannah following through on her promise and leaving her young son with Eli. Surely this was not easy for her. Surely she wept as she made her lonely journey home, her arms now empty. But what sustained Hannah was knowing God’s goodness to her had provided a son and that same goodness would sustain her as she gave God’s gift back to Him in worship.
What gift from God might you be holding on to instead of giving it back to God in worship? Why?
Day 3 • 1 Samuel 2:1-11
Hannah rejoiced in the Lord because she did not take God’s goodness for granted. She had not forgotten how God had answered her prayer or how He had lifted her up. So now, she lifted Him up. Yes, Hannah also boasted in the victory over her enemies, but even that was not the foundation of her praise. God’s goodness was. And Hannah understood that God was just as good when she cradled Samuel in her arms as when she placed him in the care of Eli.
How has God been good to you in recent days? Be as specific as possible and worship Him as He is due.
Day 4 • 1 Samuel 2:12-36
We are all accountable for our own sin and relationship with God. We cannot blame our parents for our rebellion against God any more than we can credit them for our salvation. Parents play a role, a key role, in our evangelism and discipleship and yet we are each accountable and will stand before God as such.
How have the spiritual leaders in your life pointed you to Jesus over and over again? What are some ways you can express gratitude for their faithful service?
Day 5 • 1 Samuel 3:1-21
We may long for God audibly to break the silence in our lives and world, but our neglect of what He has spoken to us in His Word should cause us to tremble.
What is your plan to spend regular quality time in God’s Word?
Day 1 - Joshua 10:1-8
God knows your shortfalls, and though you think you have it all together, you don’t. None of us do. And one of our greatest failings is loving others. This is where our Gibeons are so helpful. We likely don’t need them for friendship or protection, but to keep us humble. To teach us how to love sacrificially and selflessly.
Who is your Gibeon? What can you do this week to reflect the love of Christ to him or her?
Day 2 - Joshua 10:9-15
Likewise, “but God” is the key to our victories, both internal and external. “But God” is what takes hold of our sour attitude and gives us love in its place. “But God” is what gives us the courage to stand on the gospel when the culture around us pushes back. “But God” is what enables us to cling to our faith even in the darkest nights of pain and suffering. “But God” is the power of God working the gospel in us and through us. (See Eph. 2:1-10.)
What is your “but God” testimony? Who have you shared it with recently?
Day 3 - Joshua 10:16-43
Yes, God had been the One delivering victory after victory. And yes, there was still work to be done—the northern cities had to be defeated so that all of the land would be Israel’s possession. But God’s people needed rest. Just as God established Sabbath rest in the creation account and just as Israel abstained from collecting manna on the Sabbath, we see here a reminder of our limits as people. Even while doing the Lord’s work, we need to find time to rest.
How do you guard time to rest as a rhythm of life? Do you tend to fall more toward working too much or resting too much? Why?
Day 4 - Joshua 11:1-23
In verse 15, we see how Joshua and the next generation were wise not to repeat the same mistake of faithlessness. At the conclusion of the conquest, we read that Joshua was faithful to obey all God had commanded which led to the successful conquest of the land. God was not just after a portion of faithful obedience, He was after full faithful obedience. Each battle and each step in each battle was a step of faith for Joshua and the Israelites. They could not have picked and chosen which steps to take and which not to take. They had to walk fully in faith, and when they did, they were successful. God was not after their obedience in isolation—just as He is not after ours. Instead, He is after our faith, which is made known through our obedience.
In what areas of your life are you struggling to walk fully in faith? Why? What steps can you take toward more faithfulness?
Day 5 - Joshua 12:1-24
God had won each one of them through Israel and for Israel. This is what God wanted the people to remember. He wanted them to be able to look back on the conquest and not remember one convoluted victory. He wanted them to remember precisely what He had done to give them the victory—what He had done thirty-one times. Each fallen king was a testament to God’s power and a reminder of His provision for His people. That is what they would need to remember.
What have you done to record and remember the many victories God has won for you?
Day 1 - Joshua 2:1-7
The intent of Joshua’s spies, on the other hand, was to act from faith—to find what God had given them and perhaps how He had given it to them. Similar actions; different motivations. One scouting trip was done honoring God, the other rebelling against Him.
When have your actions seemed right from the outside, but you performed them with the wrong intentions or motivations? What happened?
Day 2 - Joshua 2:8-24
In these verses, we are reminded of the power of a testimony. Word of what God had done had traveled to Jericho because someone, somewhere, had told others what he or she had witnessed. It may have been one person; it may have been several people, or even many people, but someone’s testimony ended up in Rahab’s ears and led to her faith in God. And that is what we are called to do today as followers of Christ—we are to declare what God has done in Christ to others, trusting in God for our testimony to bear fruit.
What has God done, or is He doing right now, that you can tell someone else about today?
Day 3 - Joshua 6:1-14
We see something similar in Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17. In verse 4, Jesus said to the Father, “I have glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” Here, we see Jesus used the past tense to speak of a future event; in this case, the cross. Just as Jericho’s fall was sure in Joshua 6, so was Jesus’ lifting up on the cross in John 17.
What sure promises of God do you need to rest in today?
Day 4 - Joshua 6:15-21
On the seventh day, they were called to action—although it was not the action a soldier would expect. It must not have made much sense to the Israelite soldiers. It must have been frustrating. And yet, they did exactly what God had called them to do—in obedience and in faith. Sometimes God calls us to act in faith; at other times, like here, He calls on us not to act, in faith.
Consider a time in your life when God’s plan was simply to move. How willing were you to follow His simple instruction? Why?
Day 5 - Joshua 6:22-27
We see here a word picture of the power of God to change us by grace through faith. When we trust in Christ, our old self is put to death and we have been giving new life in Christ.
How do you tend to live as your old, dead self at times? Why? How do you fail to live as your new self at times? Why?
Day 1 - Joshua 1:1-9
God knew Joshua would need encouragement and God knew the people would need it as well. But God also knew the people needed something else more—much more. They needed Him. Good leaders are a gift from God. Great leaders are a blessing. But no leader, no matter how good he or she might be, is a substitute for God Himself. Moses was not who the Israelites needed. Joshua was not either. Nor would it be any of the judges, Samuel, Saul, David, Solomon, any other king, or any prophet. The leader the people needed was Christ Jesus—the One who God provided to lead us out of bondage of sin and into the rest of salvation in Him.
Have you ever lost a significant leader? What was the effect of that loss on you and others?
Day 2 - Joshua 1:10-18
We know from the Book of Hebrews, that rest in the promised land was a shadow of the greater rest we find in our salvation in Christ. In Christ, we are able, for the first time ever, to cast aside our labor—our innumerable attempts to be right with God—and rest in Christ instead as recipients of forgiveness and righteousness in Him. This is the rest our souls need. This is the rest the gospel gives.
What are some ways that you need to stop working and rest in Christ?
Day 3 - Joshua 3:1-17
We need to consecrate ourselves day-by-day, moment-by-moment. God is at work all around us everyday, but will we see it?
What are some ways you can consecrate yourself each day to see what God is doing and follow Him?
Day 4 - Joshua 4:1-16
Do we see ourselves as Joshuas? Do we understand that God has positioned us where He has, and how He has, for a reason—to glorify God? Or are we ever tempted to steal God’s glory instead? To take how He has gifted and blessed us and hoard it for ourselves? May we hold loosely to our glory and tightly to God’s.
How can you point others to God this week through how He has blessed and gifted you?
Day 5 - Joshua 4:17-24
While the primary context of these two passages focuses on parents, it is broader than that. All of us are called by God to disciple others and this is to be our blueprint of discipleship. We are to teach others God’s Word, but we are also to testify to how God has been kind to us. We are to talk about His provision, His protection, and His power. We are to celebrate who He is and what He has done.
What are some of the “stones of remembrance” that you can share with others to point them to who God is and what He has done?
Day 1 - Numbers 22:1-41
Even when the Israelites could not see it, God was working for their good. God is always working all things for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).
How has God’s faithfulness helped you remain faithful to Him even in the midst of difficult circumstances?
Day 2 - Numbers 23:1-30
Even though we may face persecution and difficult times, there is nothing that can stop God from fulfilling all that He has planned and promised. God has placed stories of His work for His people in the Bible so that we can see how He works for the good of His people, and in doing so, realize He works for us in the same way.
How can seeing the unstoppable faithfulness of God change the way you approach difficult situations today?
Day 3 - Numbers 24:1-14
The message of the gospel is a message for all the world. God has saved us to display the immeasurable riches of God’s grace for the rest of eternity, and He calls us to start now by inviting those who don’t know Jesus, to trust in Him and enjoy His presence and provision forevermore.
How can your guarantee of eternal life motivate you to share the gospel today?
Day 4 - Numbers 24:15-25
We trust in His forgiveness, but we also trust in His rule over us, knowing He has done everything necessary for our salvation and righteousness, yet we are called to live in obedience out of love and gratitude for what He has done.
What is your motivation for obeying God? Why?
Day 5 - 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
One day Christ Jesus will return, and He will make all things new and kill death for good. At the death of death and the restoration of all things, the rule and reign of Christ will be unchallenged and unhindered. We can trust in God’s ability to conquer all things now, since He has already conquered death, which is our greatest enemy.
How does knowing Jesus conquered our greatest enemy, death, give you boldness when sharing the gospel?
Day 1 - Numbers 20:1-29
We are to obey perfectly. And even one act of unfaithfulness earns condemnation. But thankfully, we have been provided a way to be forgiven of our transgressions in Jesus, the One who perfectly obeyed and who takes our sin and credits us with His righteousness when we believe.
How have you obeyed God partially at times believing that was good enough?
Day 2 - Numbers 21:1-7a
We too are quick to forget God’s faithfulness and we too need God’s gift of discipline at times to remind us that if God was willing to provide Jesus to die on the cross to address our greatest need, we can surely trust Him to provide for our daily needs as well (Luke 12:24).
What are some things that God has done for you in the past that you can remember today to help you remain faithful in the face of need or temptation?
Day 3 - Numbers 21:7b-8
Many who have trusted in Jesus find it difficult to continue to trust in the completed work of Jesus. That is why we are grateful that Jesus is an ever-present intercessor, always at the right hand of the Father making appeals to Him on our behalf.
Who has God placed in your life for you to be an intercessor, praying for them and telling them what Christ has done?
Day 4 - Numbers 21:9-35
As we live each day, we go forward in confidence living from the victory that Jesus has already won for us. Jesus has defeated sin and death, so in the face of any persecution we will face, we continue striving to live the way He has called us to—with faith and with joy.
How does knowing that God goes before you and with you give you confidence as you face opposition?
Day 5 - John 3:1-21
our salvation is the completed work of Jesus—His life, death, burial, and resurrection—and the unending power of God to preserve our salvation no matter what.
What kind of doubts do you face in your walk with Christ, and how does His completed work on the cross help you continue to believe?
Week of March 3, 2019
This account offers a picture of how we are to respond to God when He reveals Himself to us. God’s self-revelation shows us two things: who He is and who we are. When we see God for who He is and what He has done, we can properly see ourselves for who we are.
In what ways does seeing the truth of God’s character humble you?
The Israelites had left slavery in Egypt and endured a trek through the wilderness to make it to the promised land, which their sin prevented them from entering. Likewise, through Jesus, we are freed from the slavery to sin, yet we continue to live in the wilderness—a fallen and broken world. However, in light of eternity, our journey to our promised land is short, and we are called to trust God in faithfulness as we journey on, placing our hope in His promise to bring us home to the place of our rest.
How might the hope of what God has in store for you in heaven change the way you approach each day now?
God invites us to join Him on His mission of making His presence known. We do this by proclaiming the gospel, but also by praying earnestly for those who don’t know Him, that they might repent of their sin, turn to Jesus, and experience life.
Who will you pray for who doesn’t know Jesus? How will you tell them about Jesus this week?
The worst place for us to be is in sin because it disrupts our fellowship with God. Having anything without God is far worse than having nothing with God. We need to remember this, let God drive it into our hearts, and be quick to grieve over our sin—not its consequences. When we do, we will experience the freedom of living in the presence of our mighty God who loves us beyond measure.
How have you grieved over sin recently—have you focused on the sin itself or the consequences of sin?
We are all called to take the message of the gospel to a world that wants nothing to do with it. Our job is simple: live the gospel; preach the gospel. But because the gospel is offensive, people will despise us. Like Moses, we must remember it is not really us who they despise and reject, it is Christ. And so, like Moses again but even more so like Christ, we must show compassion to the people we have been called to love and serve as we pray that through our kindness and perseverance, they might be reached with the gospel we proclaim.
How does praying for people change the way you see them?
Februrary 24, 2019 - Leviticus - The Day of Atonement
Leviticus 1:1-17 In this offering, we see images of Christ’s full dedication to the Father expressed through His life obedience and His willing sacrifice on the cross. Christ gave Himself fully for us to make atonement for our sin. Our only reasonable response is total surrender to Him. The voluntary nature of this offering captures both Christ’s willingness to endure shame on our behalf and our proper motivation in living for Him. Our obedience is not to be offered by compulsion, but instead to be motivated by love and gratitude.
What area of your life are you holding back instead of fully surrendering to God? What is preventing you from giving this to God joyfully?
Leviticus 2:1-16 We can look at this offering, like the burnt offering, and see how it points to Christ. He is the One who demonstrated unmatched humility and generosity in taking on the flesh, coming to earth, and offering Himself so we might have forgiveness and eternal life. Believers should also seek to demonstrate scandalous generosity to those around us, so they might see the beauty and power of the gospel.
How can you be more generous this week with your time and resources?
Leviticus 3:1-17 Jesus was the willing sacrifice who provided forgiveness for our sin to remove the barrier between God and those who trust in Him. Because we have been given Christ’s righteousness, we are not spiritually neutral before God; He has restored relationship between holy God and forgiven humanity. As believers, each of our days should be marked by deep gratitude and joy for the relationship with God we have been given in Christ.
What can you do today to live out and enjoy the relationship with God that Christ has provided?
Leviticus 4:1–5:19 Jesus’ sacrifice was necessary to provide forgiveness that gives the believer confidence that he or she is accepted by God. Not even a single sin remains to bring condemnation from God. This is the source of the believer’s hope and joy. Even as believers continue to sin, remembering the scope and depth of Christ’s sacrifice for sin should cause us to seek to cast aside sin and to live holy lives pleasing to the Lord.
What sins have you committed but not yet confessed to God? How can you rest in His complete forgiveness and acceptance of you in Christ?
Leviticus 16:1-34 Likewise, the people of Israel were to practice self-denial because humility—that of Christ taking on the flesh and being the Suffering Servant and that of a person who comes to Him in total neediness for salvation—is a defining characteristic of the gospel.
Which do you find more difficult to maintain as a follower of Christ rest or self-denial? Why?
Exodus Ch 36-40 The Tabernacle - A place for God’s Presence
Weekly Reading Plan
Exodus 36:1-38 All we do is to be done for God’s glory as acts of worship. All of life can be worship of God.
In what “ordinary” ways has God gifted you? How have you, or can you, use these in service to Him?
Exodus 37:1–38:31 In this passage two things are revealed. First, that worship of God is serious business. God takes worship seriously, and we should too. Second, Gad cares about the details of your life.
What “small” detail of your life do you need to trust that God knows and cares about?
Exodus 39:1-43 We are called on to give God our best—of our time, energy, and resources—and to do so with joy. This is our act of worship.
In which areas of life might you be holding something back from God?
Exodus 40:1-33 The Israelites had been rescued from slavery in Egypt through the Passover in the middle of the first month of the year (Ex. 12:1-3). One year later, they were about to celebrate the first anniversary of the Passover with the tabernacle completed. It was a testament to God’s faithfulness. He had delivered His people and He was with them, guiding them toward their home.
What spiritual markers in your life remind you of God’s faithfulness?
Exodus 40:34-38 It’s a fitting end to the book. God’s unchanging faithfulness on display for a people who did not deserve it. It’s a fitting picture for God’s relationship with Israel of the Old Testament, and it is a fitting picture for us. It is a picture of the gospel.
How have you seen God’s undeserved faithfulness in your life?
As we conclude this study of Exodus Please consider how you can follow God daily Just as the Israelites did in Exodus.
Head Above Water
This devotional podcast is designed to glorify God and foster generational discipleship. The name Head Above Water Simultaneously alludes to my family’s story of surviving despite a massive flood and it describes many families situation, Most of all points to the savior who reached into the water and rescued Peter.
Our family has flourished during parts of our lives. We have lived as though the wind was at our backs. We also know what it is like to live each day struggling to have the resources to move forward. We know what it is like to see the storm around us. Bills, Jobs, School, Homework, Laundry, diapers, toilets all needing to be addressed. We have taken our eyes off Jesus. We have lived day after day drowning in our circumstances.
Many families journey is enough to make them feel like they are barely making it. Many families are familiar with the struggle just to make it through the day. Some families work multiple jobs to provide groceries and to keep bills from piling up. It is easy to focus on the storms of life. This podcast is committed Christ and helping families get their gaze on him.
This is a podcast about real life and how to reach out to Jesus who will keep your head above water.
Helping Families as they reach for Jesus
Join Us each week as we attempt to help families in our context reach out to Jesus.