December 17 – Honoring God – With our love

Read Psalm 51:10 and Mark 12: 30-31

Brandon’s parents divorced when he was three years old, and he was raised by his mother for six years before she remarried. He said that during his early life, he grew bitter towards his family, but in high school he converted to Christianity, learned forgiveness and then forgave his parents.

He was given a guitar as a Christmas gift at the age of 13, and around the same time he began writing his first songs. He was a choir member at his school and was encouraged by his music teacher to pursue music.

Brandon was invited to a “Young Life” camp as a teenager where he “heard about Jesus for the first time” and he says that Young Life “showed me Christ and got me plugged into a church”. After high school, he became a Young Life leader and is still involved with this ministry.

Brandon Heath started writing songs such as Give Me Your Eyes – songs about honoring God with your love and with your eyes. It was nominated for numerous awards. It’s about how our lives can be full of confusion and chaos. And all those people in our lives – going somewhere – he asks, “Why have I never cared?”

He asks God to “Give me Your eyes for just one second, Give me Your eyes so I can see, Everything that I keep missing – Give Your love for humanity.”

Our love is really all we have to give to people!

We can pray for others and give them our love, our time, our listening skills, our interest, our resources and our hospitality. I can put down my device and I can make sure they know how much I love them. I can serve them, rejoice with them and mourn with them. I can introduce them to Jesus (See John 1:35-42).

That is what we can give people – our love.

We honor God by loving others. Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:35

We can honor God through obedience. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” – John 14:15

We can honor God with humility. Jesus said, “God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.” – Matthew 5:5

We can honor God with our eyes. Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light”. – Matthew 6:22

There are hurting people practically everywhere. Do we see them? Are we prepared to honor God by acting and demonstrating God’s love?

How do you honor God?

Tom Weckesser

December 16 – Honoring God – While emotionally exhausted

Read Psalm 73:25-26 and 2 Corinthians 12:10

The scriptures above are two that I have clung to, time and time again. Over the last 13 years, as a surrendered follower of Jesus, I have come across many seasons when I am emotionally exhausted. This could be from just life running its course, health, being a parent or starting a new job. 

I am no stranger to feeling deeply and, sometimes when I feel deeply, I begin to feel emotionally exhausted from all the changes, situations, newness, and the unknown that could be surrounding me. 

Something I love about the Psalms is that there is every emotion under the sun felt within the pages of its writings. At the end of all of the lamenting, most of the time, the authors will point back to the Lord and point back to His strength and His power pulling them through. 

My question to you is, “When you are emotionally exhausted, what do you do?” 

Do you sit back and read a novel? Watch a movie? Have dinner with a friend to vent about the frustrations that have pulled you into this season?

The biggest question is, “When you are emotionally exhausted, do you still honor the Lord with your time, talents, treasures, words, and actions?” 

It is so easy for us to feel our feelings because we live in a fallen world where everyone tells you “your truth is THE Truth!”, when that just isn’t a holy perspective. 

Something that I fall into when I find myself emotionally exhausted: I do one of two things:

1) The first is, I go to my closest friends to vent and whine before ever going before the Lord. In this, I have been convicted in the past that I am not leaning on Him but leaning on the validation of others. 

2) The other thing is that I tend to lose my sense of reality by spending my free time watching movies or television shows so that I do not have to think about all that I am going through or feeling. 

Would you say that either one of these is honoring the Lord first?

I wouldn’t. 

I have had to practice and re-train my brain and life to do something that is honoring before something that I feel like, so that I do not fall into the brokenness of this world that leads me down a slippery slope of sin. I have had to examine when I feel emotionally exhausted and, instead of going to a friend or losing myself in a false reality, I have learned to take actions of obedience by opening up the Bible and reading God’s Truth or journaling in a prayerful way in order to lay it down in surrender and gain a holy perspective. 

No matter what I do, I have to recognize that just like the author of this Psalm and Paul writes to the Corinthians; “My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is my strength and my portion forever”… and that, through the weaknesses I may go through, if I go before the Lord, I will learn that He is strong in my weaknesses and will always use them to make me stronger in character and faith. 

Now, ask yourself, do you honor the Lord when you are feeling emotionally exhausted? Do you give into your emotions and try to escape reality or do you go before the Lord and allow Him to reshape your perspective? 

Which one is most honoring? Do you honor Him?

Kelly Lawson

December 15 – Honoring God – With our responses

Read Revelation 4:11

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

Did you know that some stars emit a steady beat and others sing like violins?  Did you know that if you stretched out the entire DNA in all 37.2 trillion cells in your body, that they would reach all the way to the moon and back 150,000 times?  Did you know the fastest bird is the peregrine falcon which can reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour in a dive? The fastest land animal (that we know of today) is a cheetah named Sarah at the Cincinnati Zoo with a record speed of 62 miles per hour. Have you heard of the African Starfish Flower?  This plant smells like rotting meat and yet attracts pollinators even from a great distance.  Did you know that a cumulus cloud, suspended in the atmosphere, contains about 1 million pounds of water drops?  What about the animal that is known as the supreme survivor?  This tiny animal is about 1.5 millimeters long.  It has a mouth that is full of dagger-like teeth, it can live in boiling water and in the deepest trenches of the ocean. It has survived for more than 10 years without a drop of water, and has been frozen for 30 years, thawed and survived.  This animal is known as the tardigrade or water bear. 

God has given this little creature everything it needs to survive.

When we study the science of creation, we learn that the plants could not live without the animals who help to pollinate them, and the earth that helps to nourish the plant.  The animals could not live without the plants that provide food and oxygen.  The earth, plants and animals could not survive without the atmosphere that houses the clouds of water and the sun and moon which provides days and seasons.  One God must have created all of creation to work together, with each part of creation dependent on the other.  For thousands of years this earth has been continually working according to the plan of one God.

And last but not least, God – a moral and rational being – created moral and rational beings like Himself, different from all other creatures. Man was created more like Him than any other creature. (Genesis 1:26-28) Man was created to worship. (John 4:23-24) Together with His creation, we can respond with praise, for He has created all things and for His pleasure He created them.  God took pleasure in His creation. Therefore, He takes pleasure in you.  (Psalm 92:4) The works of creation invite us to offer our humble devotion to Him alone. 

Do you take pleasure in God?  How do you respond to His creativity in creation?  To His power in creation?  Where is your love directed?  He alone is worthy of our love, devotion, and praise!

“Now to God the Father, who created all things” (Isaiah 45:12)

“to God the Son, the Creator who came as man and sacrificed His life for creation” (Philippians 2:8)

“to God the Spirit who breathed life into all things” (Job 33:4)

“be all glory, honor and praise forever and ever.” (Revelation 4:11)

Janene Nagel

December 14 – Honoring God – While feeling bitter

Read Colossians 3:8-15

“DON’T BE BITTER, BE BETTER” is the title of a sermon I heard once. It was a timely message that I have not forgotten. The message was simple: I can choose to be bitter about something or I can choose to try to be personally better about it. It is my choice! It is a way to honor God. The message of the sermon was that we can control our attitude, even if it’s ALL we can control.

Bitterness gets worse according to Hebrews 12:14-15:

“The soil of bitterness is a heart that harbors hostility and does not deal with hurt by the grace of God. When someone becomes bitter, the bitterness takes root in the heart and grows deeper.”


is a poison

that cannot be


It spills forth

from the lips of men

onto beer-soaked napkins

and the ears of anyone

they have yet to chase away.”


Bitterness is not something God wants to see in you. It is not God-honoring. Chronically bitter people may give you a hard time and that may be especially true if they are your loved one. How do you honor God in that situation? You can try to avoid bitterness yourself:

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”Hebrews 12:14-15

To be bitter is a common reaction to some of life’s circumstances. It is often because of heartbreak or hard times. We all experience bitterness at times. Job was bitter at one time:

“My soul is tired of life; I will let my sad thoughts go free in words; my soul will make a bitter outcry.” Job 10:1

Bitterness is resentment that can lead to hostility toward others. The Bible says to avoid backbiting and profane talk. It takes prayer, work and planning to be kind and honor God in everything you do.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31

Strive to be gentle with others.

Can you do it?

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

“The circumstances

of their wretched despair…

may not be


of their own doing.

And they may,

as they often are,

be quite capable

of loving


expressing love

but an ounce of love

in a pint of poison

is still



If you are in a season of bitterness in your life, be sure to confide in people that you trust and continue to pray to God for guidance. Bitterness is a common reaction in our lives.

Honor God while bitter! Try to be better.

Tom Weckesser

December 12 – Honoring God – While grieving

Read Romans 12:12, 8:28 and Psalm 62:5

“For God’s glory.”

Three words we say and sing that make us feel all warm inside, until we realize the weight of them.

It’s easy to live for God’s glory when life is sweet, but when grief lands on you like a house, you start to wonder… ‘God, where are you? I know you can do anything you want…is this it?’

And it’s there that the wrestling match begins.

The ‘letting go’ in grief may feel like you’re giving up, but what if it’s really gaining something lasting and beautiful like joy, hope, patience, and faith?

It may sound like a bunch of messy questions: ‘Why can’t I just trust God with this pain? I thought I was stronger than this?’, ‘I’ve been living for You, and this is what You give me in return?’ and ‘I was considering life with You, Jesus, but if this is what You’re offering, count me out.’

Jesus is the master of asking the best questions. When some of His followers couldn’t stomach His teaching, He asked them if they were going to abandon Him and Peter answered:

“To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”John 6:68

I can think of a lot of other places to go, can’t you? You may have traveled there yourself. Places like: pity, isolation, substance abuse, buying things, denial, keeping busy. I bet it’s made your grief all better, hasn’t it? You’re all healed up and living an amazing life that honors God?

Humbly, I suggest that being joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer sounds a lot like action, not just lying under a house doing nothing.

Hear me loud. There’s no shame in lying under a house of grief and there’s no shame for how it landed there. Jesus isn’t condemning you. He cares for you.

He’s waiting for you to trust Him.

Imagine Him listening to your laments and actually having the power to do something about them. What if you decide there is nowhere else to go and invite Him into your grief? Even that would give Him glory.

What if you commit to reading the Psalms and asking the Spirit to bring you comfort through His words?

What if you speak honestly about your pain with someone you know will direct you toward faith?

What if you believe Jesus is under the house with you, fighting for every breath with you, and that He is the source for everything you need to heal?

I can’t lie.

I hate grief.

And I can’t lie.

The closeness I’ve gained with Jesus through suffering has been a gift.

He’s taught me how to trust Him time and time again.

And with each tiny act of faith, He has responded with His faithfulness and lifted the weight off my chest, one piece of the ‘house’ at a time.

And I’ve felt a little lighter, and hopefully, given Him the glory.

Shelly Eberly

December 11 – Honoring God – With our time

Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-7, Colossians 3:1-25, 4:1-18.

“…make the most of every opportunity.”

Colossians 4:5b

The song “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin is about the use of time and it is narrated by a man who becomes a father. Soon after his son was born, the father is repeatedly unable to spend time with him because of his job. His son admired him and wanted to grow up to be just like his father.

After the son graduates from college, he declines his father’s offer to spend some time with him and instead asks for the car keys! In the last verse, the father is retired and he calls his adult son and asks if they can spend some time together. But the son’s own job and family prevents him from being able to spend time with him, and the father realizes that his son has absolutely grown up to be just like him.

It is a song that is scary and sad. But it is often true. So how do we spend our time? What are our priorities? Do we spend our free time based on what is really important in our lives? How we spend our time will show how we love Jesus, the church and our own family.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-7 shows that we are affected by time and change. If we look back 10 or 20 years, we realize we were in a different season. Verse 2 says that there is a time to be born and a time to die.

So, there is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1). In John 2:4b, Jesus said “my time has not yet come” in referring to His crucifixion and resurrection. In John 12:23, His time had definitely come, “Jesus replied, the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

Colossians 3 and 4 offer ideas on how to make the most of every opportunity in our lives with time.

“So, if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.”

Love others. Be patient. Control yourself.

“Pursue the things over which Christ presides.”

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Let’s fill our time and thoughts with the things that Christ cares about – where our great interests are – rather than things of this world such as pleasure and wealth.

“Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.”

What is important in my life? Does the way I spend my time prove it?

Honor God with your time by being a blessing to someone today!

How are you using the precious time you have been given to glorify God and love others? 

Tom Weckesser