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The Lord is coming
"Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18).I cannot wait, Lord! You will come on that last day and call your believers to come to heaven with you. I will see all my family members that I have loved and now miss. Together we will be "caught up together . . . in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." And then we will see for ourselves what we can only guess at for now. Keep us safe in our faith until that day. Amen.

Turned away
(Jeremiah 8: 4-7).Dear Lord, you know what I am clinging to today, what seems to cling to me. Rid me of all that seeks to distract and distance me from you. Help my focus to be on you and your cross alone. Help my feet to be guided and empowered by your Spirit so that, like the more simple creatures you have made, I might instinctually follow you in faith. Continually remind me that in my rebellious, misguided and self-centered attitude, you still reach out to find me. Your faithfulness, love and grace cover over my multitude of sins. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

Set free
"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free' " (John 8: 31-32).Dear Heavenly Father, keep me daily in your Word; help me fully understand how your truth sets me free. Please accept all my sinful worries and insecurities as I lay them at your feet. Turn them into confidence that with you all things are possible. Help me remember all the blessings in my life and the greatest of all, Jesus. Amen.

An ever-present help
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress" (Psalm 46).Dear Father, how can we begin to thank you for what you have done for us? No matter what we have been through or may go through on this earth, you promise to be with us as our strength and refuge. Thank you for that amazing comfort. Please lead us to come first to you in times of trouble, sadness or trial. We know you will take care of us, guide us and shelter us from the pain of this world and some day lead us to join you in heaven. Thank you for those wonderful promises, dear Father. In your name, Amen.

Jesus prays for his disciples
(John 17: 6-19).Almighty Everlasting God,You sent your Word, Jesus to show us who you are. We see and hear your word and rejoice in your love for us.Through your Holy Spirit you planted this treasure in each of us. You rejoice in usa mysteryas we learn the truth.You gave us all into the care of your Son, Jesus,Our Shepherd,Our Savior,Our Sacrifice,Our Advocate,Our Judge.Father we humbly thank and praise you for your great mercy to us.We bow in humble reverence before you and worship your sacred name.Amen.

Righteousness by faith
(Romans 3: 19-28).Almighty GodI sought you from my youth,I searched your word.My heart's desire was to please you.I loved your law. It would keep me safe, bringing me home to you.I tried to keep ittried hard.Each time, I failed . . . and failed. . . again . . . and again.clearly seeing my own helpless condition.I was far from you and in despairUntil my heart heard the word,"Forgiven"At once the law was clear . . . to show me your power and my weakness.Were it not for the gospel, I would stand dead in sin before you.With you all things are possible.Thank you Father for the law which convicts me of my sin.Thank you, Father for JesusWho fulfilled the law for me.Now I kneel before you . . ."Forgiven" And . . .now my heart's desire . . . to live with you.Forever.

Our only Savior
(Isaiah 43: 1-7).Lord, God, who am I to be the object of your mercy and care? Who am I to have you at my side when I pass through the waters of trouble and walk through the fiery furnace of affliction? But you have redeemed me and I belong to you. You have gathered meand all children of Godfrom the ends of the earth. Help me to glorify your name as I entrust all my cares to you! Amen.