July 27 – 31, 2020

July 27 – 31, 2020


Read Genesis 1 & 2; John 1:1-3; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 4:11

Creator God

In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.  (Genesis 1:1)

Everything created started the same way—with a design. A design is an idea of how to make something—a chair, a flower, or a book. You can build your own design out of something. Children get this easily. They accept that they need clay to make a clay bowl or snake, or paper to fold into a flying airplane. Adults struggle with the idea that when God created the world, He did something no one else can do; He created everything out of nothing at all.

Creation is God making everything out of nothing by His powerful word. He created man and woman in His own image to know and love Him and live with Him forever (Genesis 1:26-27). God created them righteous and holy, to rule over everything He created (v. 31). Because God made everything good, there was no sickness, death or decay and no reason to fear or be ashamed.

Do you know that you are part of God’s grand design? Before God placed a single star in the night sky, He thought of you in love (Ephesians 1:4). Whatever circumstance you find yourself in today, this week or this year, it is a part of our Creator God’s plan.

I am writing this devotional when the COVID-19 pandemic has become a community crisis. I am moved toward my Creator God through the words of Jeremiah to God’s people: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you” (Jeremiah 29:11-12).

Ask Creator God to hear your prayers today because there is a great need in our families, churches and communities for trust in Him alone for our every care and need. Ask Him to help you to reach out to those in our world with the love of God and with helpful hands.


Think about the things that exist—and what that means about how those things came to be. What do you see in all of creation that makes you realize that God is a most loving (and creative!) Creator?

Prayers for Bryant and Anne Wilhelmsen and Global Grace Mission 

Please pray for Bryant and Anne Wilhelmsen, who serve through Global Grace Mission. They have been wandering the Refugee Highways from Germany to Afghanistan for years. God has planted their family in the shadow of the Alps and it is where they mingle and reach out to the asylum seekers.



Read Psalm 19

The Work of His Hands

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.  (Psalm 19:1)

One of the most helpful and spiritually uplifting activities we can do is notice nature. Even a casual glance at the stars or a garden shows us the vast scale of God’s creation and the incredible complexity of every creature. To measure distances in space, scientists use the distance light travels in a year. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, or about 6 trillion miles a year, so we call that distance a light-year. At that amazing speed, light from the sun takes over 8 minutes to reach the earth. The nearest star in the galaxy is Alpha Centauri, 4.3 light-years away; so when the light astronomers see the light of Alpha Centauri, it left 4.3 light-years earlier.

The earth is an amazing phenomenon with several distinct characteristics necessary for life that, so far as we know, do not exist in this combination anywhere else in the universe. And as biologists study the intricacies of DNA, they find complexity and predictability beyond anything they imagined. God crafted all of this!

Weather systems, landforms, ocean currents, and other large-scale features amaze most of us. Hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, earthquakes, and COVID-19 disrupt our lives and reveal how fragile we can be. And on a much smaller, less violent scale, we delight in the beauty of a single flower or the movement of a lizard grabbing its next meal. God crafted all of this as well.

Noticing God’s creative work takes only a moment, but we need to take it a step further and reflect on the effects of what we see. If Creation is so vast, God is greater still; and if the work of His hands is so amazingly intricate, we can be sure that God knows every detail of our lives, too. Noticing nature results in a deeper trust in God and all He has planned for you and me.

May God help you to examine the beauty, glory, and detail of this great planet that His hands have formed and crafted. In this time of uncertainty, may we deepen our trust in His great power and goodness displayed in all of nature. We are the work of His hands and we will praise Him today.


Do you take the time to delight in nature and notice God’s handiwork? Why or why not? What does nature teach us about God? During COVID-19 and all its complexities and potential consequences, what can be our response?

Prayers for Bryant and Anne Wilhelmsen and Global Grace Mission

Pray for strength and wisdom as Bryant and Anne search out people one at a time since they cannot meet in groups due to COVID-19.



Read Psalm 139

Formed by Our Creator

You formed me in my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  (Psalm 139:13)

A familiar Victorian superstition claims that a mirror’s reflection captures a portion of the soul; breaking a mirror, therefore, injures the spirit of the person who broke it. For this reason, the use of mirrors had a list of safety guidelines: If a relative had recently died, mirrors in the home would be covered to prevent his or her soul from becoming trapped, and children under two years old were to avoid them, as their souls were still developing and could be stolen. These days we no longer shield our souls from the mirrors in our homes, but a new form of anxieties related to our reflections has captured our culture.

We are always checking ourselves out. We look in the mirror to see how we look; and if we’re honest, most of us glance at our reflections in windows throughout the day. We compare our appearance with the models on fashion magazines and celebrities on the red carpet, and we must face the fact again and again that we don’t measure up!  As Americans, we spend billions every year to change how we look, and most of us remain disheartened.

We need a new benchmark and a new set of values, and David gives them to us in this beautiful poem, Psalm 139. Almighty God, the One who is infinitely wise, kind, and strong, carefully crafted each of us in the womb. He used the building blocks of DNA, but the uniqueness of our individual appearance was in His hands. It was not only our appearance that God crafted, but also our personalities, our intellects, and our talents. And His creative work in each of us prepares us to fulfill the greatest goal life can offer: to be His man or His woman in the circumstances we face every day.

Ask Almighty God to help you to truly believe that you are wonderfully crafted by Him. Ask Him to help you desire to reflect on His kindness, goodness, and beauty in every circumstance you face.


How do you feel about your appearance, intellect and talents? How would it change your sense of contentment and passion if you really believed that God crafted you?

Prayers for Bryant and Anne Wilhelmsen and Global Grace Mission

The Wilhelmsens’ joy is seeing that many refugees from the Middle East are ready to set aside Islam in search of something else. Pray that the Lord continues to plant a hunger and desire to meet Jesus in those they encounter.


Read Ephesians 1

God’s Poem

We are His workmanship, created in Jesus Christ for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  (Ephesians 2:10)

You are not who you are by chance or accident. Everything about you—your personality, character, abilities or talents, and physical features—is as the Creator crafted. The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians that we are God’s “workmanship.” The Greek word for workmanship is poiema, from which we get our word poem. Poetry is a beautiful form of thought creatively expressed, often carefully structured and meticulously worded. Words are chosen to maximize meaning and purpose. They are the product of the poet’s skill, intentions and detail. Often poetry, to be truly appreciated, requires that we slow down and carefully consider all its parts for value and meaning.

In the same way, God skillfully shaped our personalities and gives us the abilities and appearance that He has chosen for us. Each of us is unique with a specific purpose that the loving Creator prepared in advance—“before the foundations of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).

When we believe we are God’s workmanship created for good works, all that we accomplish produces joy in and praise for our Creator. When we don’t believe we are created for good works, we can become discouraged and confused by the lack of meaning and purpose in our lives. We can rest assured that God Almighty who has blessed you with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:2) has a divine purpose for you. “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

Praise God for making each of us unique and gifted for good works. Ask Him to show you ways this week that you can accomplish good works for Him in your family, church, and community.


How do you respond to the fact that you are God’s poem? What are some of the ways that God has used you to accomplish “good works”?

Prayers for Bryant and Anne Wilhelmsen and Global Grace Mission

Pray that the Lord helps the Wilhelmsens find new partners who can pray for and support the ongoing work.



Read John 1:1-18

Humanity and Divinity

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”  (John 1:3)

When the apostle John wrote these words in the 1st century (90-100 AD), he communicated as one who had been an eyewitness to the life of Christ. One of the great tasks of the early church was to hold Christ’s humanity in one hand and His divinity in the other, something we all must do today. We must remember that the One who was born in a stable, grew up as a poor carpenter’s son, and walked among people on earth—eating, sleeping, sweating, and ultimately dying the gruesome death on the cross—is the same One who created the entire universe and existed long before earth was formed. Our faith is inhibited if we fail to grasp both of these aspects of His nature.

When we accept both Christ’s humanity and His divinity, we grow in trust and faith in our daily circumstances. Take the time to focus on God’s stooping to our level because He loved us and wanted to connect with us! The Creator of the universe subjected Himself to abuse, ridicule, temptation, misunderstanding, betrayal, physical pain, spiritual abandonment, and ultimately death—none of which any of us willingly choose. This King of kings argued with rigid, self-righteous leaders who should have known better, and He defended the weak and powerless. Jesus knows and has experienced every human emotion; we can determine to turn to Him in every circumstance.

Christ, the Son of God, wasn’t limited by time, space, and a human body before He became a man, and He isn’t limited today. Jesus is all-powerful and all-glorious; His knowledge is complete and all-wise; and He has promised to return for us!  In these anxious times (COVID-19 pandemic), the Creator of the universe has everything in His loving hands.

Thank our Heavenly Father for sending His Son, Jesus, to live and die for us. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to trust God more through the life and love of Jesus.


What amazes you about Christ’s humanity? Or about His divinity? How is your faith challenged and strengthened by both essential traits?

Prayers for Bryant and Anne Wilhelmsen and Global Grace Mission

Pray also for strength and insight as Bryant and Anne continue seeking to serve the Lord together with all of you in Glendora.


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