DAY 36

I choose Partnership.

"But God has put all parts of our body together in the way that he decided is best. A body isn’t really a body, unless there is more than one part. It takes many parts to make a single body (1 Corinthians 12:18-20)."

Have you ever experienced the frustration of putting together a puzzle, only to discover in the end that a piece was missing? Even though that piece is just a tiny portion of the puzzle, its absence leaves a very noticeable flaw in the whole picture.

As a believer, you have an important job to do. You have a major role to play in the Church of Jesus Christ. And it's the job of every believer to rightly discern his or her role in the plan of God and to serve with enthusiasm — no matter what job God asks you to do.

Here is an important truth: The body works best when all its parts work together. As believers, we are all different. We have different gifts and abilities, and we have different jobs to do. But we all belong to the same body. A believer functions best when connected to other believers.

Partnership doesn't happen accidentally. You must intentionally pursue your place in the body of Christ. Eventually, you will find how He has gifted you and what you’re good at. Every part matters! And when you find your place and begin serving His church, you will discover great joy.

We want to see the church grow but it's not to boast in attendance numbers. As the church grows, it means more of God’s people to minster with! More members means more ministers because everyone has a part to play. You haven’t really joined a church until you have become a partner in ministry; filling a spot where you are needed; a role where you can serve.


I am chosen by God and I choose partnership. Father, I want to play my part, find my place in kingdom work, and use my abilities for Your glory. Renew my desire to serve You, God. Help me to let go of past disappointments, and forgive me for envying others’ abilities. I believe I am Your workmanship, uniquely gifted for the good works You prepared in advance for me to do. 

DAY 37

I choose the Cross.

"Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me (Mark 8:34).'"

Look up the word cross and you'll find these synonyms: frustration, trying situation, snag, hitch, and drawback. Are these words what Jesus had in mind when he said take up your cross and follow me? 

As creatures of comfort we try to avoid pain whenever possible—physically and emotionally. We cling to what’s secure, safe and feels good in our circumstances and relationships, naturally seeking to protect ourselves. But God often asks us to get out of our comfort zones and set ourselves aside for his glory. He wants us to trust him, but we can only do that when we let go and obey.

God doesn’t force us to follow him. He doesn’t put the cross on us, but asks us to pick it up willingly. Our decision to follow will always cost us something; there’s heavy lifting, rejection, and personal interruptions. Actually, it will cost us everything. The only way to get the life we work so hard to protect is to give it back to God and trust him to take care of it.

What we fail to remember is that there is more to the cross than just our sacrifice. The cross I carry is all that Jesus has done for me, just as the cross you carry is the gospel, or witness, of what He has done for you. Each day I take the hope, love, and forgiveness of the Cross of Christ with me to the grocery store, in the school car line, and to the office. I carry it everywhere my life takes me. These are the places where I offer the power and wonder of the cross.


I am chosen by God and I choose the cross. Lord, give me the courage, strength, and endurance to follow You every day. No matter how tough the obstacles, how long the dark night, how my plans might be disrupted, may I never forget that real life starts when I lay my life down. Thank you for the cross and for leading me into new life.

DAY 38

I choose to Magnify the Lord.

"And Mary said, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior (Luke 1:46–47).'"

We use the word magnify to explain making something appear larger. In Scripture, magnify is used to describe a change of view that allows us to see something we thought was one size, but turns out to be much larger. The ultimate use of the word “magnify” is in reference to God. Mary was saying she suddenly recognized God’s greatness in a new way.

Why is it important to magnify the Lord? When our problems seem large, God seems small. But when God is big, problems are small. Recognizing God’s limitlessness is the truth behind magnifying the Lord. It’s not that we make Him bigger. Instead, we begin to see Him for His proper size in relation to everything else. We stop and are awed by His infinite greatness and the smallness of everything else—including us.

Not only size, but perceived distance comes into play. Sometimes God seems far away. We don’t always have a sense of His nearness. However, when we magnify the Lord, we not only see His proper size and proportion, but we also realize His proximity to us and to what we're dealing with. He suddenly seems much closer than we'd thought.

And most importantly, like a magnifying glass focusing the raw energy of the sun, when we magnify the Lord, His great power becomes much more evident to us and through us. When we focus on the awesome nature of the God of the universe, everything else takes its proper place. And like Mary, as we magnify the Lord, our souls will rejoice in the glory of our Savior.


I am chosen by God and I choose to magnify the Lord. For You have proven time and time again that Your presence puts everything else in a different light. Even through the admittedly imperfect lens of my life, may others watching catch a glimpse of Your greatness.

DAY 39

I choose Focus.

"...And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2)."

We have all taken blurry pictures at one time or another. Usually, in our rush to capture the moment we don’t give enough time for our camera (or phone) to bring the scene into focus. We are le with an ambiguous blur, with colors and indistinct shapes hinting at what the picture was supposed to look like. In all likelihood, without the distinct lines and details of the photo we wanted, we will delete it. Why? Because no one can appreciate a picture that you can’t see. Focus is important. Details are important.

The key to persevering just like taking a good picture is focusing on the subject. For the author of Hebrews there is no more important subject to keep our focus on than Jesus. Why? Because he is the author and finisher of our faith. He can begin it and he can end it, complete it. He is the pioneer, he has gone on ahead. He is also the perfecter of faith. He himself ran the race. Every restraining hand he brushed aside. He set his face against the popular sin of unbelief and walked on in patient perseverance, trusting the Father to work everything out for him. He set the example.

Moment by moment, day by day, week by week, year by year, if we learn to focus on him we find strength imparted to us, because he walks with us. That is the secret. We can take comfort in knowing that he has already been where we are going. And he continues to provide all the spiritual blessings we need during the ups and downs, the joys and challenges of this earthly life.


I am chosen by God and I choose focus. Lord, teach me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. Forgive me when I try to do things on my own. May I be led by your Spirit in all I do.

DAY 40

I choose Surrender.

"For we, alive though we are, are continually surrendering ourselves to death for the sake of Jesus, so that in this mortal nature of ours it may also be clearly shown that Jesus lives (2 Corinthians 4:11)."

The word surrender doesn’t have very positive connotations in our society. It tends to be seen as weakness. There’s an idea that to surrender and submit is like when you’re facing an enemy you know you can’t beat and you wave your white flag as a last resort. It’s a form of relinquishing control, but one that leads to further bondage, rather than to freedom. Because we so often think of the world in terms of “for and against, us and them,” to surrender and submit has meant that we lose and someone else wins. But this does not have to be the case.

To surrender and to submit is to understand that you don’t have control over some things. It means “to give over or yield to the power or authority of a higher entity; to be subject to some kind of treatment or influence.” When we are sick we have no problem surrendering to the power of medicine to treat our illness.

Surrendering is not a form of losing. It’s not self-diminishing so that you can in turn be dominated by something or someone. It’s simply trusting. It’s ultimately a surrender to the idea that above all, you will be cared for. The truth is you cannot control everything, and that's OK. The one who holds you is in control.  God is for you, all around you, and with you. 

God’s desire for our lives is that we rely on Him completely; with our marriages, our children, our health, our careers, our finances, our past and our futures. When we resist the temptation to rely on our own strength and surrender everything to God, we allow Him to build, prosper and give us rest.


I am chosen by God and I choose surrender. Lord, I am wholly yours. Forgive me for the parts of my life that I have tried to control because I was afraid to give them to you. May all that I am and all that I have bring glory to you.