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Devotional


Welcome to this Lifeline Devotional! The goal of this is to help you get into the Bible on your own, and our hope is that through this you’ll learn more about the bible and grow in your faith.

Each day we’ll ask you too look up a section of the Bible, read some thoughts from our staff and then reflect on what you’re learning.

Don’t have a bible? Here’s some options for you:

  • The Bible App by You Version – This is an app you can download for most phones. They have a bunch of different translations of the bible available, we’d recommend starting with the NLT translation.
  • Biblegateway.com – This is a website you can visit for an online bible. Similar to The Bible App you’ll have access to lots of translations.
  • Lifeline – If you want to get a physical bible come talk to your small group leader or our staff!

CHECK OUT PROVERBS 13:20
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

We were created for community. Do you feel that longing? Have you noticed just how much influence other people have on us? It’s because we are very relational. You see, it’s pre-built into us because we are created in God’s image. What does that mean? It means that God made us a little like Himself. In other words, we reflect who God is. God is a relational being and so we are relational beings.

Here’s why this is important: We need people in our lives, and who we have in our lives, matters. Proverbs 13:20 tells us that the people we spend time with deeply influence how we think, feel and act. Choosing the right people to journey with this year could be one of the most important decisions you make. Why? Because we become like the people with hang out with. The closer you are with them the more influence they have. As we like to say in Lifeline,

“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

There is wisdom in admitting that like it or not, you will become like your closest friends.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
Do you want to become more like the people in your friend group? Maybe there is someone you’re spending a lot of time with that really isn’t a great influence. Or, maybe there is someone you really admire who you should spend more time with. There is wisdom in choosing the right people to be your people this year.

CHECK OUT EXODUS 20:8-11
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

Doesn’t it seem funny that God, the One who has infinite energy, rested after creating the world? I mean sure, creating the universe was probably a lot of work but was He really tired? Did He get sweaty? Did He really need a break? He’s God, after all!

The answer, of course, is no. God didn’t need to rest but he chose to. And, it seems that He did this to model for us what a healthy rhythm for life looks like. He invented “Sabbath” which literally means “to stop” or “to cease” as a gift for humanity. Why? Because it turns out that God has infinite energy but we, as humans, do not.

You see, God modeled rest and then commanded us to rest because it is good for us. We aren’t machines, we are humans and God desires that we take a break to relax, reflect and recharge. I believe it’s true that we cannot be the people that God intends for us to be if we are constantly doing, performing and working.

So, what does this have to do with you? Well, it turns out that being a teenager is pretty demanding. You have to wake up super early, focus all day long, and on top of that balance school work, social life, extra-curricular stuff and everything else. And then, when you get home, there’s often a mountain of homework and family relationships to navigate and maintain. It can be so exhausting! And this is why rest is so important. God designed you to stop what you are doing and recharge.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
What will rest look like in your life? Is there a day, or even just part of a day, that you can set aside to relax, focus on your relationship with God and not “do” anything? When we truly rest, we recognize God is in control and not us. Sabbath is a gift from God. I hope you choose to accept the gift this year.

CHECK OUT PROVERBS 14:12
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

One of the most common pieces of advice that you will hear is, “listen to your heart.” When you’re facing a big decision, people tell you to “trust your gut,” or “follow your feelings.” While it is important to know and trust yourself, the ultimate goal is to continue developing trust in God and what He has in store for you. You can only know this by seeking Him and His wisdom.

Here’s the thing, advice like “following your heart” sounds great, but in reality may not be helpful. Actually, it can sometimes be harmful. Here’s why: According to the teachings of the Bible, our hearts—that is our feelings and thoughts, sometimes lead us astray. The reason is that every one of us is deeply affected by sin. There is a part of each one of us that is naturally bent toward selfishness and sin. And, if this is true, then sometimes our feelings and thoughts are untrustworthy. In the words of Proverbs 14:12, what we are thinking and feeling might seem right but in reality they could lead to very bad results in our lives.

So, what do we do? Well, if you want to make good decisions this year, I have two thoughts:

  1. Read the Bible. Get in the practice of listening to God’s truth. Our thoughts and feelings can be untrustworthy, but God’s truth is reliable and always trustworthy. The more we listen, the more His truth will shape how we think. Take time to listen to God’s voice regarding your decisions.
  2. Ask wise people. Instead of making decisions just based on how you feel, ask people that you trust for advice. Extra bonus points if the person you are asking is a Jesus follower who regularly reads their Bible, because now you are asking advice from someone who regularly listens to God’s truth as well.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
If you want to set a good direction for this year, be careful about making important decisions only based on how you feel. There is wisdom in listening to God’s truth and humbly asking the advice of wise people

CHECK OUT 1 CORINTHIANS 16:17-18
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

In 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote about three people who “refreshed” his spirit. That’s an old school way of saying they encouraged him. He said that people like that deserve recognition. It’s almost like he’s saying,

Encouraging people deserves a trophy!

Why? Because encouragement is powerful. We’ve all felt what encouragement feels like. Think of a time that someone said a kind word or wrote you an uplifting note. It feels amazing and has the power to energize you for days or even weeks. I would even say that encouraging words have the power to change your life.

  • I never really tried at school until a teacher encouraged me by telling me that I was smart and could get all “A”s if I applied myself.
  • I never really thought of myself as a leader until my youth pastor invited me to join his student leadership team.
  • I never really thought of myself as a good speaker until someone encouraged me after a presentation.

Encouraging words can make a day brighter and even change the direction of a life. And, this is why Paul says, people who encourage others like this deserve to be recognized!

In our culture, we don’t talk about encouraging people like this. We give all recognition and awards to famous actors, athletes and YouTube stars. I think Paul would say we have it all wrong. It’s the people who put others first and share encouraging words who really deserve the recognition. A neighbor, a peer, a friend at the football game…

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
Who can you encourage today? Could you write a note, share a thought or even recognize someone in front of a group of people? There is incredible power in a kind word and the people who regularly encourage others deserve to be recognized.

CHECK OUT ROMANS 12:1-2
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

This passage of Scripture is challenging. Paul, writing to a group of Christians living in the cultural center of the Roman Empire says, “Don’t conform to the pattern of the world.” In other words, don’t just follow along with what everyone around you is doing. Instead, be transformed. In other words, let your lives be changed to be more like Jesus. And how does the transformation happen? “By the renewing of your mind.”

One way of being transformed, is to simply make a different choice. This requires intention and not mindlessly going through each day on auto pilot. We can stop, think, and make a different decision that could deeply impact our lives.

If you want to just go along with what everyone else is doing, put what everyone else is putting into their minds—listen to the same music, watch the same shows, and follow the same people. Doing what others do will lead you to think the same thoughts as everyone else. If, however, you

want to be transformed, if you want to become more and more like Jesus, then you will need to put different stuff in your brain.

It really is true that what we think impacts how we live. And, if what we think about comes from the information we put into our brains, maybe we need to evaluate the quality of what we are putting in our brains. Conversations, music, TV, etc…

Also, if you really are interested in transformed—that is becoming more like Jesus, it will start with your mind and thoughts. Here are a few ideas:

  • Regularly read the Bible
  • Set aside time to listen to worship music
  • Schedule time to talk with people who speak truth and encourage you

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
 If you want to just be like everyone else, just think like everyone else. If you want to become more like Jesus, you’re going to have to think differently and to do that you need to put better stuff in your brain. Pay attention today to how you might be following the crowd, and if you may want to make a change to better yourself.

CHECK OUT EPHESIANS 4:17-24
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

In these verses, the Apostle Paul gives us a great image for what it looks like to pursue God and become more like Jesus. He says we simply need to take off our old self and put on our new

self. Now listen – this may sound simple, but it could be a process and take some time. Keep this in mind.

The old self is that aspect of us that just wants to do what is wrong. I know you know exactly what he’s talking about. About the old self, Paul says: Get rid of it! The new self is that aspect of us that is alive to God and desires to obey God. It seems to me that this new self is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

So, if you want to grow in your faith, Paul says simply: get rid of what’s bad and add what is good.

And, equally as simple and challenging: Is there something that you need to add? Attending church and Lifeline more regularly? Reading the Bible and praying daily? Encouraging others? Finding a place to serve regularly? Making time to rest? Journaling your gratitude at the end of a day?

Sometimes growing in our faith is as simple as removing something unhealthy from our lives and adding something healthy.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
Is there something in your life that you need to get rid of? A sinful habit? An inappropriate phrase you often say? A website you shouldn’t be visiting? A relationship that isn’t good for you? As we clear out some of the junk from our lives, this will naturally open up space for more goodness.

CHECK OUT PSALM 19:1-4
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

Have you ever driven through the mountains or along a winding river and seen those “Scenic Overlook Ahead” signs? Maybe you’ve even stopped at one, gotten out of your car and spent a few minutes admiring the view. I’ve never been disappointed with my decision to stop and enjoy the view.

Here’s a question: What’s the point of nature? I mean, the beauty of it? Why are there so many kinds of butterflies? Why do the leaves become so beautiful in the fall? Why all the stars in the sky? Why do dolphins jump and splash in the ocean?

I believe that nature is art and behind the art is an Artist who designed all of creation to capture our wonder and lead us to worship. In other words, I think God created nature because He wants us to enjoy it and enjoy Him. It’s relational. God loves to give good gifts and He loves it when we enjoy the gifts and appreciate Him, the giver. The next time you see something amazing in nature, take a second to tell God or write a prayer to Him expressing your gratitude and wonder. This is worship.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
How many days are we so busy and running around that we fail to pause even once and simply enjoy the nature around us? Open your eyes today to seeing God’s creation around you.

CHECK OUT 1 PETER 1:13-16
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

Here’s something we don’t talk about that much because it can be challenging: God desires that we become more and more holy, because He is holy. But, what exactly does it mean to be holy? Well, holiness captures that essence of God that is perfect and never does what is wrong. He always does what is good, true and right.

God is calling us to do what is right more and more and to do what is wrong less and less. This is not God asking us to be perfect, but to continue to choose more goodness on a daily basis. You see, being a Christian is more than just believing certain things, or going to church, or knowing the words to certain songs. To be a Christian is to pursue holiness because God is holy.

Here’s the good news: We don’t do more good and less bad in order to earn God’s love and acceptance. We already have these gifts through the death and resurrection of Jesus. You don’t have to earn anything with God; in fact you never could.

Here’s more good news: Yes, God is asking us to be holy but we don’t have to do this on our own. God has given each of us the gift of the Holy Spirit—God’s presence inside of us, working within us to become more and more holy. God is at work in you.

It isn’t as much about trying harder as it is about yielding our desires to the desires of the Holy Spirit. You don’t have to and shouldn’t do all the work in pursuing holiness. The Spirit of God is at work in you. Listen to him and yield to His leading.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
When you sense God saying “You shouldn’t do that” or “I want you to do this”… have the courage to yield to His desires rather than your own. Invite God into your daily decisions.

CHECK OUT MATTHEW 7:24-27
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

I have bad news. Something bad will happen to you this year. Sorry for ruining your day, but it’s true. Sometimes those bad things are small, sometimes, medium and sometimes really big. I sincerely hope nothing big and bad happens to you this year. But the reality is that being human means we will face hardship in our lives, each and every one of us.

But, let’s talk about how to prepare for bad things. Jesus, in a story that he told in Matthew 7, says that people who listen to His words and puts them into practice are like people who build their houses on solid rock foundations. When the storms (bad things) come, these people are strong and weather the storm. Sure, all that wind and rain probably hurt and caused some problems, but the storm didn’t knock down their house. In other words, life became harder and they experienced some pain but they made it through… still strong, still secure.

Now, the people who listened to Jesus’ words and didn’t put them into practice got leveled by the storm. Ouch! Sounds like a house built on a foundation of sand rather than rock…

Notice a few important details here:

  1. The people who listened to Jesus and applied His teaching still experienced bad things. It’s a mistake to believe that following Jesus means nothing bad will ever happen to us. That is not a promise we find in the Bible. The promise is that God will be with us and give us what we need, even in the roughest of times.
  2. The people who got leveled by the storm had heard Jesus’ teaching. So, let’s put this story into our culture: These people went to church and maybe even Lifeline. It’s not like they didn’t know the teachings of Jesus. It’s that they didn’t apply them to their lives. It’s not about knowing. It’s about putting what you know into practice.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
Unfortunately, bad things happen. According to Jesus, those of us who listen to his teachings and put them into practice have an advantage. We will be stronger and more able to endure whatever life throws at us. What is one way you can trust God today?

CHECK OUT LUKE 12:16-21
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

Let’s be real, no one wants to be on the receiving end of “Fool!” from God. Yikes. And why does God use this harsh word in this story of Jesus? It’s because this rich man had made his life all about himself. He’s over there tearing down buildings to make bigger buildings just so he can store all his stuff. His life was all about acquiring more stuff. According to Jesus, this is a dumb way to live.

Instead, Jesus says live in a way that makes you “rich toward God.” And how do you do that? Well, when Jesus was asked what was most important, He said, “Love God and love people” (my translation). So, if you want to live your life in a way that makes you rich toward God, spend your time and resources loving God and loving people.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
What’s one way you could show your love toward God today? And what’s one way you could show kindness to a person in your life today?

CHECK OUT JOHN 14:6
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

A common thought among people is that all religions are equally valid. In their own way, all the different faiths of the world lead to the Divine. It sounds nice and affirming to everyone. The trouble is that Jesus didn’t believe it.

Jesus made it very clear during his life and ministry that there is only one pathway to God and that is through Himself—specifically, His death and resurrection on our behalf.

The Bible teaches that each one of us individually and all of us collectively have a problem and that problem is our sin and rebellion as humans. We all do wrong and we have all contributed to the problems we see in the world. We are guilty. What is worse, the problem that we created is so massive that we can’t fix it. None of us has the power or ability to fix what is wrong inside of us or in the world.

The good news is that God became a human, and that human is Jesus. Jesus lived a perfect life and gave His life on a Roman cross to pay the penalty for all of our sin and rebellion. Through him we can experience God’s forgiveness and a restored relationship with Him. And now, through the work of Jesus, God will restore the entire world and someday in the future everything will be perfect once again. We have the help of the Holy Spirit to do this tough work with us here on Earth.

The central truth in this message is that we are incapable of fixing the problem of sin and so God, in His love, fixed it for us. And, this is why Jesus said in the Gospel of John that He is the only way to God.

Other religions or faith systems have different beliefs about what it means to have true and authentic faith. We as Christians believe that the true way is through believing in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for each of us. Christianity is not like every other religion and therefore not all religions are equal and lead to the same God.

My hope is that if you have never accepted God’s gift of Jesus and what He did on the cross for you, that you would do so today. And by the way, your small group leader is always willing to talk with you about this!

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
What do you believe in your heart about the role of Jesus is in your life?

CHECK OUT MATTHEW 23:11
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

When it comes to being a servant, there is an image that always pops into my head and it’s of a kid helping a little old lady across a busy street. And, in my imagination, it’s always a granny with a walker and the kid is a boy scout. I don’t know. It’s weird.

Anyway, that’s the image that comes to mind when I think of a servant. When you think of a servant, what comes to your mind? Why are we talking about this anyway? The reason is that Jesus emphasized serving. I mean, it was of utmost importance to Him. In fact, He said that whoever wants to be great must be a servant.

Jesus’ disciples were always trying to treat Him like he was royalty, and Jesus kept doing things to serve the disciples. Sounds like a flip flop, huh?

For example, in ancient Middle Eastern culture, only the lowliest slave would wash peoples’ feet. Why? Because nobody had shoes, they were all in sandals and they shared roads with animals that pooped everywhere. Everyone had nasty feet all the time. Imagine how nasty feet were!

Imagine this scene: Jesus and his disciples are getting ready to have dinner together and Jesus starts washing the other guys’ feet. Jesus. The Son of God. The One who created the universe. He’s washing everyone’s nasty feet! Unbelievable. What a sacrifice!

When Jesus taught that serving is the highest honor, He didn’t just say it, He lived it. If we want to be like Jesus, we must serve others like He did.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
What is a way that you can serve today? Bonus points if you choose the worst job on purpose because that’s what Jesus would do.

CHECK OUT EPHESIANS 4:31-32
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

Have your parents or anyone ever said to you “treat others as you want to be treated”? This sounds like a great way to live, but it is not easy! This takes the intention of asking ourselves before we act or speak, how would I want to be treated in this scenario? When something really

upsets us, it is normal to feel angry and upset inside. It is how we respond to the other person that shows what is going in within our hearts.

Paul tells us in Ephesians to get rid of the evil emotions that start to build up in our hearts. He then instructs us to be kind and compassionate, and to forgive one another… if you immediately think, how can I forgive people for the horrible things they do? The next part of the verse states “just as in Christ God forgave you”. This is the kicker. We have to call on God to help us with forgiving one another, and this is not an easy task. But be encouraged, we have God to encourage us when we struggle to be kind and forgiving.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
Is there anyone in your life that you want to take steps to forgive? How can you begin this process?

CHECK OUT HEBREWS 10:23-25
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

There are times when we feel hopeful and full of joy and life is great! And then there are times when we struggle to find hope in our circumstances and nothing seems to be going well. Life is made up of joy-filled days, and really hard days as well. Sometimes we need others to help us along when we struggle to find hope.

Through our tough times, Jesus remains faithful. This is His promise to us. However when we struggle to remember and believe this, there is this beautiful thing we can do for one another. We can encourage our friends when they are feeling down. Yes! We can have hope for our friends and family, and then when we need an encouraging word, the people in our lives can do the same for us.

One community that God has given us is His church. When we meet together, we worship God together, and it is a beautiful thing! It is important that we gather with our church community and celebrate all He is doing in our lives.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
Have your eyes open today to seeing someone who needs your encouragement, whether through a compliment, note, or action.

CHECK OUT MATTHEW 7:13
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

Have you ever felt like following Christ is kind of hard? Me too! We may expect that being a Christian will always feel good, but unfortunately this is not true. God desires for us to give all of ourselves to him, and that means every. single. area. of our lives. Of course this is not easy! It will at times feel impossible.

Matthew tells us that the gate that leads to true life is narrow, and only a few find it. Our choices matter, and it is difficult to follow God in a world that is full of destruction and pain and evil.

It is difficult and at times, lonely, to follow God. There are so many temptations swirling around us begging for our attention on a daily basis. But friends, it is SO worth it! As we read earlier, following Jesus is the path to life. Not just life here on Earth, but eternal life with our creator. Now that is something worth living for!

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
Ask yourself this week – what is one area of my life that I want to allow God into? How can you start this process?

CHECK OUT HEBREWS 4:13
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

What would it be like to have someone follow us around for a day and observe all of our words, actions, behaviors toward others, and see all that we do? It feels vulnerable and kinda scary, ya?! In the book of Hebrews, it says that nothing is hidden from God’s sight. This is not meant to intimidate us, but to express how much our lives matter and how important it is to honor God in all we say and do.

This verse from the Scripture reminds us that we can bring our full, honest selves to God on a daily basis. He knows our hearts, and longs for us to be real and transparent with him. Once we feel like we can be fully honest with God, it will open up a new level of relationship with Him. He cares for each of us, and wants us in close relationship with Him. We can bring it all to Him. And that is a freeing thought.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
Grab a piece of paper this week and write an honest letter to God. How does it feel to be completely honest with Him?

CHECK OUT REVELATIONS 21:1-5
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

As you read from Revelation 21, let the words sink in, and allow yourself to visualize the most beautiful place imaginable. Maybe you imagine a beach or a park or your favorite place to be. Green grass, water, trees… beauty all around you. Close your eyes and picture it… There is no death or tears or hurt or pain in this new reality – can you even imagine it?!

The Bible describes this new, beautiful place, and that God Himself will live with His people there. This new reality is eternity, a place in which God’s people will reside with Him forever. Forever is hard for our human brains to even compute… but isn’t it wonderful to imagine a world with no pain in which we get the opportunity to be with God forever?

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
God says “I am making everything new.” What is one area of your life that you want to be made new?

CHECK OUT MATTHEW 13:3-9 & 18-23
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

In this passage from Matthew, Jesus tells a story about the soil that the farmer is working with, and how the condition of the soil determines the success of the crop growing in that specific soil. Is the state of the soil dry, rocky, full of weeds… or is the soil healthy, watered, and full of soon to be life?

Imagine that this soil is your heart, your mind, ALL of you. What kind of state is your soil in? Are you feeling connected to God and in a place of joy? Or are you feeling dried up and that you are in need of some water for your dry soul? God meets us wherever we are at, and is able to tend to our soil.

It also says that healthy soil can produce so much more crop. You might be thinking… What crop? What is Jesus talking about? We can imagine the crop in our lives being a kind word to another, caring for the people around us, and being a source of encouragement to our friends and family. We can be more fruitful and God can use us when we first look inside and take inventory of our own soul. It is important to take care of ourselves.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
Soil can be healthier from being watered, nurtured, and tended to on a daily basis. What is one way you can care for yourself today to take care of your soul?

CHECK OUT 1 JOHN 1:8-9
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

As humans walking around on this Earth, we will all struggle with sin in our lives. It is part of being human. What do you think of when you hear the word ‘sin’? One way of thinking about sin is something that is wrong, or something that does not line up with God’s desire for our lives.

When we read the Bible, this is our truth, our guide. We can see God’s desire for our lives as we read this truth, and it can help us when we want to make healthy choices.

Since we all have sin in our lives, it is important that we confess this sin to God. He tells us that when we confess our sins, ‘He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins”. Wow! This is amazing! We have God’s forgiveness when we go to Him with our sin and honesty. We don’t deserve this gift, but God is full of grace for His people.

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
Take a few minutes today to sit and pray with God. What is one thing you want to confess to Him today?

CHECK OUT JAMES 1:5
READ THE DEVOTIONAL BELOW
REFLECT BY JOURNALING

Your math grade just keeps dropping although you do all of your homework. Your best friend is moving away and you are really afraid of what life without them will look like. Your parents are going through a really rough patch and it makes you nervous. SO many parts of our lives cause us anxiety and we don’t know where to turn.

Who do you think of when you hear the phrase “wise soul”? Is it a friend, a parent, a leader…. that person you go to when you need really good advice regarding something in your life. What is it about this person that makes them wise? Often times these are the people we will go to when we have a stressful life situation.

In James, we are told to go to God when we are seeking wisdom. He listens to our prayers and cares for us. He “gives generously”. Do you believe that? He is ready to give good things to you.

When we are looking for a friend or mentor to talk with, how great when that person is also seeking God’s wisdom throughout their life. We can help one another on this wild ride of life!

 

CHALLENGING THOUGHT:
Take a moment to think of one area of your life that you are seeking wisdom, in which you can bring to God today. You can think, speak, or write out your prayer…