Home Altar: Week of August 8, 2021

by Andrea Barnett

August 8
Psalm 56 

Who Can Be Against Me? 

In some seasons of my life I have felt the weight of our supernatural foe; in other seasons it feels like mere humans are my worst enemy. No matter what I come against, the real battle lies in what I do when I’m facing oppression in my soul. Will I fight like it’s flesh and blood, or will I turn, like the psalmist did, to the Lord? 

When I was facing infertility and longing for children, I saw others around me struggling with the same painful struggles. I chose to walk in hope and faith, longing to see the goodness of the Lord. I didn’t view infertility as a fight against my own body or an ability that others had, while I didn’t. 

Lord, help us to walk in faith and cry out to you when we’re in need. Help us when we experience oppression, because we know when you are for us, no one can be against us. AMEN. 

August 9
Psalm 34:1-8 

Let Us Glorify the Lord!

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed” (vv. 4-5). 

God hears when we call. He sees when we’re afflicted. And he delivers us from all of our troubles. Let us glorify the Lord together because we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good! 

May we see where God is calling us each moment of the day to rejoice in him, and may we see those around us that he is calling us to share our testimony of deliverance with. 

Father, help us to be examples of praise to those around us. May we live each day through its troubles and blessings with an attitude that lifts you high at all times. When we take refuge in you, may it lead others to glorify you with us. AMEN. 

August 10
Ephesians 4:1-10 

Unity in Christ 

We are called to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. When our peace is challenged, we may have a tendency to try to keep our own peace instead of trying to help make peace for others. 

Trying to cling to inner peace without extending humility and patience is impossible. Because we know all things are possible for God, we partner with him in the unity and peace he has already created. 

When we’re truly united with others, because of the bond we share in Christ, we all get to experience the gifts of oneness and grace together. 

Lord, search me and know my heart. Reveal to me where I am not helping create unity and peace. Guide me to receive the fruit of the Spirit so that I may walk in grace and mercy just as you have shown me. AMEN. 

August 11
Ephesians 4:11-16 

The Body

When we joined the body of Christ as new believers, we were mere toddlers in the faith. As we learn and grown in wisdom and spiritual knowledge, we become mature in our faith. 

Still, we can’t forget where we’ve come from or that God uses each of us, toddler and elder, to be his hands and feet here on earth. The unity we have in the body is unique, as we all have different, yet important, roles in the kingdom of God. 

How we work together to cause the body to move and flow not only demonstrates the example of Christ, but it can reveal to our sisters and brothers what maturity looks like. 

Father, we are all on a journey of growth. Help us to spur one another on as we remember that each of us travel our own path. May we work together to demonstrate what being in the body of Christ really looks like. AMEN. 

THURSDAY, August 12
Ephesians 4:17-24 

Our Newness 

Although we have been made saints, our sin nature sure likes to creep in and remind us of our old self. Praise God that although our enemy seeks to destroy us, God uses all things for good! When we make mistakes or walk in paths of old, we are reminded of our desperate need for Christ. As our weaknesses draw us closer to God, our enemy is vanquished. 

Praise God for the gift of the Holy Spirit. God knew we would still struggle, so he gave us the Spirit to renew us. 

Lord, we praise you that you make us new. We know you long for us to walk as your holy saints and you will draw us closer to you in our weakness and struggle. Forgive us when we fall back into our old ways and help us to walk in the newness of Christ. AMEN. 

August 13
Ephesians 4:25–5:2 

Reflecting Christ

Several years ago, bracelets with the letters “WWJD” became very popular. I believe those reminders to ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” are one of the best ways to help us consider how to act, and not act, on a daily basis. We all face so many difficult encounters throughout our day, resulting in the temptation to react. I’m sure we’ve all had our ugly moments telling another driver on the highway what we think. How would Jesus act in those scenarios? 

As a mother of four strong-willed children, I face countless opportunities each day to be frustrated, annoyed, irritated, and impatient. But in today’s passage, Paul is very clear in his call not to let unwholesome talk come out of our mouths and not to sin in our anger. What better way to remember to stay calm, show compassion, and forgive others than to follow Jesus’s example?

Lord, help us to walk in your ways. Spirit, help us to pause and remember your ways through Jesus’s life. Jesus, help us to imitate your words, truth, attitude, and holiness. We submit to your ways in our hearts, words, and lives today. AMEN.

August 14
Proverbs 3:5-8 

The Journey

The longer we are Christ followers, the more we know and experience the truth that God’s ways are greater than our own. The more years we live and face struggles, pain, and uncertainty, the more we understand that our knowledge comes mostly from our feelings, not our faith. 

When we face loneliness, longing, and loss, we often forget that the Lord is always working for our good. Pain and grief can make it hard to trust the Lord’s plans. 

Today’s passage reminds us that if we trust in the Lord with our hearts, he will make our paths straight. When we trust and submit to his path instead of our own fleshly fears, we will gain health and nourishment. 

Whether you’re longing for children, grieving a devastating loss, or feeling hopeless in your circumstances, remember that God sees you, he hears you, and he longs to straighten your path! 

Lord, help us to lean into you when we’re facing a fork in the road. AMEN.

About the Author: Andrea Barnett

I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where my husband, Adam, is the lead pastor at Redeemer Church. We have been in ministry with the Covenant for 17 years. We have four amazing children: Gracía, Ellie, André, and Macy. I’ve been blessed to support the church in Women’s Ministry leadership as well as running my own small businesses. I’ve been a follower of Christ most of my life, but I learned to love the Lord and walk out my faith after I started attending a Covenant church in college. Walking with the Lord through 17 years of marriage, two biological children’s births, and two international adoptions has shown me God’s goodness and passionate love for me!

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