Sharing spiritual support and prayers!

Daily Meditation

334 replies, 13 voices Last updated by  Oluwakemi 18 hours, 14 minutes ago
Viewing 15 posts - 241 through 255 (of 335 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #32684

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    29th May, 2017

    Hello all :hi:   :hi: The innocence of children is heartwarming; it comes with no guile, no cover-ups, what you see is what you get. That’s exactly how God wants us to come to Him. Guileless and He will make us blameless. :heart:

    Image result for coming to Jesus like a child

    Come as a Little Child

    And He called a little child to Himself and put himself in the midst of them, and said, Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven…
    —Matthew 18:2-3

     

    One thing children are not is complicated. Children have no trouble letting you know what they want, running into your arms when they are afraid, or giving you a big generous kiss, sometimes for no apparent reason. They are not sophisticated enough to hide their hearts or feelings very well, and as a result, communicating with them can be easy and refreshing.

     

    That’s the way God wants us to be when we talk to Him. We need to approach God with childlike simplicity and faith. Just as children are naturally inclined to trust their parents completely, we also need to be guileless, pure, and free from doubt as we trust God. Then we can experience God’s miracle-working power and see things change.

     

    We do not want to be childish in our relationships with God; we want to be childlike. The Lord is not looking for complicated relationships. He is looking for sincere hearts and childlike faith. He wants us to approach Him as little children approach people they love. He wants us to let Him know what we want (see Philippians 4:6) and to run to Him when we feel threatened or afraid (Psalm 91:1-7). He wants us to show our affection for Him, sometimes for no apparent reason (see Psalm 34:1) and to share our hearts openly with Him (see Psalm 62:8).

     

    Love God Today: “Lord, help me to have a pure, simple, childlike faith and love for You.”

     

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

    Culled from http://www.joycemeyer.org/Articles/Devotional.aspx

    #32695

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    30th May, 2017

    Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I had a different word for today and then, I came across this devotional. Just read and be blessed. :hugs:   :hugs:

    Image result for great white throne judgement

    Where Will I Be Left Standing?

    “After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.” Revelation 7:9 (NLT)

     

    Sometimes the most profound lessons are learned in the most humble settings. That was true for me one day sitting in a blue cinder-block house in the mountains of Ecuador.

     

    “What do you like to do with your free time?” I asked Dolores, a petite woman with sparkling dark eyes who lived there with her six children.

     

    Through an interpreter, she explained that she enjoyed getting up at 4 a.m. to embroider the exquisite works of art adorning her children’s clothing. In her “free time,” Dolores was working to help her family. But as I continued to listen to her story, I learned something sacred was happening in those rare moments of silence.

     

    Before our group left her home, my friend Luann asked Dolores two final questions: “How can we pray for you? What’s your greatest need?”

     

    In the pause that happened while our interpreter did her work, I looked around Dolores’ snug house and made a list for her. “Lord, please give my new friend Dolores carpet for her floor and a ceiling to replace the plastic sheeting. Give her extra food in her kitchen and beds for all those children. Give her husband a job here, instead of far away so that she can have some help raising them … ”

     

    When the interpreter told us her response, however, Dolores’ request was much different than mine. She said, “Please pray for me to teach my children to love the Lord all the days of their lives. That’s my greatest need.”

     

    Dolores is a woman with an eternal perspective.

     

    How has she gained it? From hearing about her life that day, I knew the beautiful answer. Dolores sits with Jesus before her children wake up each day. At 4 a.m., she’s embroidering and listening to Him. She stitches and she prays, so although she’s physically impoverished, she’s spiritually rich. Dolores knows the truth, and she lives it. That truth has changed everything for her.

     

    This is a lesson I’ve learned over and over as I’ve listened to, watched and read stories from women all over the world …

     

    Like the woman in India who meets Jesus and now understands the peace that settled on her when God’s Word was read to her.

     

    Or the woman in Africa who starts her day with friends in a concrete room, raising her beautiful voice in worship.

     

    The woman in Scotland raising her daughter on a mission base, so she can shine Jesus’ light into the community around her.

     

    They may live in different places, eat different food and speak different languages, but one day — at the end of time — they’ll all be in the same place.

     

    As Revelation 7:9 tells us, they’ll all be standing around the throne where Jesus, the Lamb of God, sits, and they’ll be shouting in a great, unified roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10, NLT)

     

    These women will all bring this wise lesson from their physical lives into their eternal lives: Know the Truth. Live the Truth. It changes everything.

     

    I know where I want to be standing when time winds down and the Lord reigns over everything. I want to stand in that crowd with people of every color, dialect and citizenship. I invite you … I implore you … come stand with me.

     

    Lord, I believe the Truth that You’re Savior. I want to live Your Truth in my life every day. I want to experience every beautiful change You have in store for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

     

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Revelation 7:17, “For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” (NLT)

     

    RELATED RESOURCES:
    Will you help us continue to help you by making a donation to Proverbs 31 Ministries? You’ll be partnering with us to reach more women with the truth of God’s Word. Every amount given is precious to us and we promise to faithfully use your donation. Click here to give!

     

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Do you know you’ll be standing in this crowd of every nation, tribe and tongue? If you’re not sure, click here to make a step toward certainty.

    Who will you lead to know the Truth today, so you’ll stand elbow-to-elbow with them in front of Jesus’ throne?

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

     

    Culled from http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/

    #32749

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    31st May, 2017

    Image result for hope when it hurts

    Hope When It Hurts

    Hello!!! Finally, we come to the end of this month. Praise God for a month filled with so many testimonies of God’s graciousness. If anything, what God has done gives us hope that He will perfect the ones yet undone. It is for such a time as this that today’s devotional is meant.

     

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV)

     

    I sat quietly, listening as each family went around and shared stories about their lives. Children with Autism, Down Syndrome, ADHD, paralysis, behavioral disorders and undiagnosed but devastating symptoms. Each family had a story — a heartbreaking, but beautiful, story.

     

    I tried to give my full attention to each speaker, since this was our first time attending a special needs support group, but I found my mind spinning with doubts, denial and fears.

     

    How did we end up here? Do we really belong?

     

    Even after seven years of seeing doctors and searching for answers to our child’s neurological and behavioral challenges, I was still struggling to accept that I was living a life I’d never imagined or expected.

     

    In fact, life has been nothing like my dreams. Instead it’s brought special needs, financial loss, chronic pain and our family of six all suffering with the painful and devastating symptoms of Lyme Disease.

     

    However, this is the life God has lovingly and purposefully chosen for me, and each and every aspect of it contains an eternal and glorious thread that’s woven into the tapestry of God’s sovereign plan.

     

    One of those threads weaves in the truth that circumstances we never would have chosen for ourselves may be the very platform God uses to bring the hope and comfort of Jesus to others hurting in our sphere of influence.

     

    For example, while I never would have chosen to be thrust into the world of special needs and Lyme Disease, it’s allowed my family the unique opportunity to offer the comfort and hope of Christ to many people who suffer in a similar manner.

     

    While sharing Christ’s comfort is not limited to those suffering in the exact way we are, it’s a unique blessing when the Lord brings someone alongside us who can understand our specific pain and bring the comfort of Christ they’ve received as they’ve walked a similar road.

     

    As much as we struggle to understand why God allows certain circumstances in our lives, His ways and purposes are often far beyond our limited understanding.

     

    However, we can be assured our suffering will not be wasted as we walk with Christ. He will use it to make us more like Him and bring Him glory. Second Corinthians 1:3-4 promises God will comfort us in our affliction as we trust in Him and, in the overflow of our own comfort, we are able to bring that same comfort to those around us.

     

    Friend, if we as Christians never suffered or found hope and comfort within it, how could we bring any real hope to a hurting world?

     

    Though we may not understand why God has allowed certain trials into our lives, let’s trust He has chosen our path of suffering for His greater purpose of drawing us near to Him in comfort, while bringing that hope and comfort to those He’s placed in our path. And ultimately glorifying Him through it.

     

    Dear Jesus, thank You that You are the God of all mercy and comfort. Instead of seeing my suffering as something to escape, help me rest in Your strength and comfort, trusting that You will not waste a moment of it. Show me who I can share Your comfort and hope with today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

     

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (ESV)

    Psalm 119:50, “This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me.” (NASB)

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

     

    Culled from http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/encouragement-for-today/encouragement-for-today-may-31-2017.html

    #32770

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    1st June, 2017

    Welcome to a brand new month, June :yahoo:   :yahoo:   :yahoo:  We are alive, hale and hearty, God be praised!!! May the lines falls onto us in pleasant places this new month. Amen.

    Image result for happy june, 2017

    You’re an Everything/Nothing…and So Am I!

     

    What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him? Yet You have made him but a little lower than God [or heavenly beings], and You have crowned him with glory and honor.
    —Psalm 8:4-5 AMPC

     

    Pride is a terrible sin, and we are instructed in God’s Word not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to (see Romans 12:3). That doesn’t mean that we need to have a bad opinion of or look down on ourselves. It does mean that we are to remember that we are no better than anyone else and that whatever God has enabled us to do is a gift from Him. We have no more right to claim credit for a special ability we have than we do for blue eyes or brown hair. Paul wrote to the Corinthians and asked them what they had that did not come as a gift from God (see 1 Corinthians 4:7).

     

    When we are warned not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to, it means we are to realize that we are nothing apart from Jesus and without Him we can do nothing. The value we have is found in Him, and we can celebrate who we are only because of Him. Actually, when we celebrate who we are in Jesus, it is a way of celebrating Jesus Himself.

     

    We make this a lot more difficult than it needs to be. It is simple—we are everything in Jesus and nothing in ourselves. I like to say, “I am an everything/nothing!” We celebrate because of the amazing work God does in us, and not because of any worth we have in ourselves. As long as we continue giving God the glory for anything good that we manifest, we are on a safe and right track.

     

    For some reason religion has taught people that to be godly they must have a low, or even bad, opinion of themselves, and I believe this kind of thinking has done incalculable damage to the plan of God. As long as we know we are lower than God and He is always our Chief and Head, then we are safe.

     

    Trust in Him: Say out loud daily, “I am nothing without Jesus, but in and through Him I am valuable and I can do great things.”

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

     

    Culled from https://www.joycemeyer.org/Articles/devotional.aspx


    #32825

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    2nd June, 2017

    Good morning lovely people. The devotional for today is here. :flasher:   :flasher:

    Image result for Jesus loves me

    Jesus Likes Me, This I Know

    “ … He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me.” Psalm 18:19b (VOICE)

     

    I wasn’t expecting anything profound to slip from my 4-year-old’s lips while we chatted over lunch on that hot summer day. I was just trying to keep my capricious girl at the table long enough to finish her peanut butter sandwich before she raced off to play.

     

    “What did you learn at Vacation Bible School today?” I asked as I leaned over Maggie’s pink plastic plate and wiped a drizzle of peanut butter from her chin.

     

    My daughter lifted her sandwich to her lips, took a bite and peered at me over the crust like a friendly neighbor peeking across a backyard fence.

     

    “I learned that Jesus really likes me … ” she said with a giddy grin. “Soooo much!”

     

    Her words floated through the air on the wings of a happy-sing-song. Then she reached across the table and gave my hand a tender squeeze. “And, Mommy,” she said as she laced her sticky fingers through mine, “I think He really, really likes you, too!”

     

    She waved her arms like a baby bird taking flight, and I felt as if my heart might take flight, too.

     

    After all, I’ve long believed that Jesus loves me — the cross is proof of that — but some days when I look at the woman in the mirror, it’s hard to believe my Savior likes me, too.

     

    I don’t know about you, but some days, I just feel unlikeable.

     

    Some days I feel messed up and maxed out, exasperated and exhausted.

     

    Some days I’m not grateful or gleeful, flexible or fun.

     

    Some days I don’t bring delight to my husband, my kids or even my dearest pals.

     

    And to be totally honest, some days I don’t even like myself.

     

    Yet like a forgiving friend, the Bible echoes my little girl’s winsome words.

     

    Scripture reminds us that the One who took our place on Calvary’s cross doesn’t merely tolerate us through gritted teeth or embrace us because of holy compulsion. As preposterous as it sounds, the One who first loved us, actually likes us, too. And here’s proof:

    • Today’s key verse says God takes joy in us.
    • Psalm 149:4 declares He delights in us.
    • Zephaniah 3:17 affirms He rejoices over us.
    • And Psalm 147:11 proclaims that we bring Him pleasure.

     

    It’s crazy when you think about it — that the perfect Prince of Heaven takes joy in His flawed followers on the dust of earth. But when I remember this simple truth, it changes the way I pursue my Savior.

     

    When I acknowledge that Jesus enjoys me, I look for ways to enjoy Him, too. I seek His company as I go throughout my day, whether it’s talking to Him as I drive across town or laughing with Him over my children’s goofy antics.

     

    I notice His kindness in the depths of my daily grind — the brazen sunset over the trees in my backwoods, or the unexpected phone call from a friend on a hard day.

     

    And I relish His presence in the midst my pandemonium. I savor the song of the birds beyond my window, the unexplainable peace in my hurry, the echo of an encouraging Scripture verse that runs through my mind.

     

    In short, when I remember how the One who died for me also delights in me, I’m drawn to delight in Him, too.

     

    So, I’m gonna keep singing that Sunday School song I learned as a child: Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. 

     

    But I’m also going to celebrate that oft-ignored truth that a 4-year-old once spoke to my soaring soul through a mouthful of peanut butter.

     

    Jesus really likes me … And you know what? I think He really really likes you, too … soooooo much.

     

    Dear Jesus, Thank You for loving me enough to save me and liking me enough to savor me. Teach me how to delight in You, as You delight in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

     

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Psalm 147:11, “But the Eternal does take pleasure in those who worship Him, those who invest hope in His unfailing love.” (VOICE)

     

    Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (NIV)

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

     

    Culled from http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/

    #32906

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    5th June, 2017

    Good morning lovely people. There is a Yoruba adage that I will paraphrase thus; when you are in the market, you don’t lose your mind to the noise of the market, rather you focus on the particular trader, you are dealing with. That is exactly, what I will want to urge us to do today; for us to focus on the important things, leave the noise of the market and let God’s peace enter into our souls. Have a great week beautiful people. :flasher:   :flasher:

    Devotion Graphic

    It’s OK to Tell Your Soul to Rest

    “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me.” Psalm 131:2 (NASB)

     

    The morning began well enough — the first five minutes anyway. Having coffee with my friend Karen, I was fine until she asked me how I was doing. Before I could respond, I burst into tears.

     

    I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong; nothing felt right. I tried to hold it together all morning, but the tears flowed off and on until she took me home.

     

    While I was out crying — I mean having coffee — with Karen, a painter was at my home transforming my bedroom. My husband was out of town and I’d planned this as a surprise for him. But the surprise was on me.

     

    I arrived home to find the painter hadn’t put back the curtain rods. Not only that, he had removed all of the nails in the walls and painted over the holes, so I had no idea where the pictures went! The furniture sat in the middle of the room. It was a wreck, and so was I. I burst into a Niagara Falls of tears … again.

     

    Times like these are when I most feel the disabling effect of being blind. Alone, I couldn’t hang the rod. I couldn’t move the furniture. I couldn’t hammer the nails back into the exact places where the pictures hung. I sat on the bedroom floor between a bedpost and a mirror and leaned against a dresser. I was spent.

     

    It wasn’t the condition of my bedroom that was the problem; it was the condition of my life.

     

    I was weary. Soul weary. Can you relate?

     

    The whole experience taught me that speaking rest to my soul was something I desperately needed and should be part of my daily inner conversation.

     

    So much of our self-talk is directed at revving ourselves up. “Come on, Jennifer! One more event, one more activity, one more goal, one more phone call, one more, one more, one more!” All this revving up often leads to a petering out until all that’s left in us cries, “No more. No more. No more!”

     

    And the result? Burnout.

     

    Burnout is a state of exhaustion — physically, emotionally or mentally — due to emotional demands that never seem to end. We all find ourselves in these draining situations. For some of us, it’s our jobs. For others, it’s family responsibilities. For you, it might be both — and more.

     

    If we aren’t in the habit of telling ourselves to rest, we burn out, wear out and even freak out (as I did).

     

    Rest isn’t only for our tired bodies. It’s also for our weary souls. Our wills, our minds and our emotions get burned out if they never experience rest. Sometimes the silent signals of exhaustion are so deep within our souls that it’s more difficult to recognize than when our bodies cry for physical rest. Our minds must receive rest. Our wills must experience rest. Our emotions must engage in rest.

     

    As the psalmist David recounts in today’s key verse, “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me” (Psalm 131:2).

     

    We need to soothe our souls to rest like a child rests against her mother. My friend, that kind of quiet and composed rest does not come easily for adults.

     

    So how do we get there?

     

    David reveals the answer to us just one verse before: “O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me” (Psalm 131:1, NASB). He goes on to encourage the reader, “Hope in the LORD” (Psalm 131:3a).

     

    Simply put: Relinquish control of things beyond our ability and trust God who is always able. We must rest from striving so our minds can quiet the noise of our thoughts and our emotions can detangle our knotted feelings.

     

    Meanwhile, I’m so grateful for good friends! Thankfully, my friend Christin came over and helped me put back the furniture and hang the pictures. And, when Phil came home he was happily surprised!

     

    I wish this kind of soul rest automatically happened when we put on our PJs. But soul rest only happens when we quiet our souls, surrender our wills to God our Father and hope in Him.

     

    Lord, help me pay attention to what I say to my soul. I want to tell my soul to be still and rest, to cease striving, to hope in You. Show me if I am heading toward burnout and give me wisdom to run to You instead. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

     

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (ESV)

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

     

    Culled from  http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/#sthash.2GPp9z2V.dpuf

    #32994

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    6th June, 2017.

    Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Hope the rain is not spoiling your mood or plans B-) B-) . All things are working for our good. Today’s devotional is here.

    Image result for making a decision

    Make a Decision

    I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings the curses; therefor choose life, that you and your descendants may live.
    — Deuteronomy 30:19 (AMPC)

     

    I’m going to start with a question that may seem tough to ask at the beginning of a study, but I believe it goes to the core of how you are living your life: Are you living your life with quantity in mind or with quality in mind?

     

    No matter who you are, whether you are a CEO of a business or a committed stay-at-home mom, we all have the same amount of time available to us—the quantity is the very same. 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, 365-days a year. So why do some appear to enjoy it more? Over my life, I’ve come to realize that it’s all about making the choice to enjoy it, the “choosing life” as Deuteronomy says. And that life is choosing to walk in the life and promises Christ died to give us.

     

    As believers, you and I have available to us the quality of that life through Christ. His life is not filled with fear, stress, worry, anxiety or depression. God is not impatient, and He is in no hurry. He takes time to enjoy His creation, the words of His hands. And because Christ lives inside of us, we have access to approach life in the same way.

     

    However, does that sound like your life today? Do you find yourself rushing through the quantity of your life while sacrificing the quality of it? We must all come to the place where we make the decision to not only enjoy our work and accomplishments, but also enjoy the road in getting there.

     

    Final Thoughts and Action Items

    We will never enjoy life unless we make a quality decision to do so. Satan is an expert at stealing, and our joy is one of his favorite targets. Nehemiah 8:10 tell us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. In John 10:10 we are told that “the thief” comes to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have and enjoy life.

     

    Satan is the thief, and one of the things he seeks to steal is our joy. If he can steal our joy from us, we will be weak, and when we are weak, the enemy takes advantage of us. Weak believers are no threat to him and his works of destruction.

     

    To live as God intends for us to live, the first thing we must do is truly believe that it is God’s will for us to experience continual joy. That doesn’t mean we’ll never face opposition or hardship, but instead, that we will face it with Christ on our side and ultimately, be able to rely on his joy as our strength to go through it. But again, we must make the decision enter and rely upon that joy.

     

    Action Items

    1. What decisions are you making today? Are you making those decisions with quality in mind or quantity?
    2. Are you actively relying on the joy of the Lord to be your strength? Or are you trying to do it in your own strength?
    3. Decide to rest in God’s joy. Make the decision today to look for quality over quantity, knowing that when you rely on Christ, you’ll accomplish everything you need to and in God’s timing.

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

     

    Culled from http://www.joycemeyer.org/Articles/Devotional.aspx

    #33088

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    7th June, 2017

    Good morning all. Happy hump day. Today’s devotional is here and it’s full of love. :heart:   :heart:

    Image result for when God loves too much

    When God Loves Too Much

    “And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.” Hosea 2:19-20 (ESV)

     

    In my early 20s, all I wanted to do was travel, sing and write music.

     

    It seemed glamorous and fun and what (I thought) the Lord would have for me. My husband Matt was an itinerant preacher, and so I joined him on his trips — from the most obscure west Texas towns to retreats nestled in the Rockies and everywhere in between.

     

    We were teamed up with a couple of worship leaders who became lifelong friends. Here was my chance, I thought. I could hop up on stage with them, sing my guts out and fulfill my dreams. But the Lord had other plans. Our friends offered me a position with them, but it wasn’t what I’d hoped.

     

    I became their booking agent (and I was THE WORST). I loathe talking on the phone … and guess what booking agents do mostly (or did at that time before email was so widely used)? Yep. I was miserable.

     

    I remember sitting on a king-sized bed in a musty motel room, crying out to the Lord, Why? Why is it so hard for me?

     

    Why does the world seem to be against me? Why do You seem to be against me?

     

    My way had been hedged with thorns. And thorns hurt.

     

    Although it didn’t seem like I was asking for much, the Lord loved me too much to let me have what I wanted. As I look back, I can see the “walls” He built around me were His arms enfolding me. The thorns were less like punishment and more like protection.

     

    My voice, my gifts, my desires were given to me by God — just as He gave Israel the grain, new wine, oil, silver and gold. And just like Israel, I was using His good gifts to serve something or someone else — me. I wanted the glory. And wanted the praise.

     

    I had entered the first desert season I’d ever known. I was lonely, longing for relief and lamenting where I found myself.

     

    Yet, the Lord had a plan for me in the middle of my wilderness as He did for Israel, and as He does for you, which we see in Hosea 2:16 and 19-20:

     

    “‘And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ … And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.’” (ESV)

     

    The Lord would lead His people into the wilderness, the desert, to expose their betrayal and to betroth them to Him in faithfulness forever. He would show them that He wasn’t like the Baals (false gods). He didn’t need to be appeased or bought. Essentially, He was saying, Let Me love you. As a husband should love his wife, let Me love you.

     

    Israel had been seduced by a period of peace and prosperity. They confused the created with the Creator, the gift with the Giver. Broken wells and false anchors were more appealing than Yahweh — I Am Who I Am. He loved His people too much to let them continue in their betrayal. So, He led them into the desert.

     

    The same is true for you and me. And I’m thankful the Lord is helping me learn this important lesson — that some days, the Lord simply loves even me too much to let me continue in my betrayal.

     

    Dear Lord, I don’t want to turn to false gods, but I know my heart, and so do You. Help me to continue to turn to You. Thank You for loving me too much to allow me to always have what I want or to keep going on the wrong path. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

     

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Isaiah 58:11, “And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” (ESV)

     

     

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Are there good gifts God has given you that you’re using to serve something or someone else? What are they? Whom or what are they serving?

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

     

    Culled from http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/encouragement-for-today/encouragement-for-today-june-7-2017.html

    #33126

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    8th June, 2017

    Good morning!!! I hope your day is off to a great start. Today’s devotional is ready. :flasher:   :flasher:

    Image result for simplicity of life

    Loving the Life of Simplicity

     

    Key Scripture: Luke 10: 41,42

    “And Jesus answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed…”

     

    I had to come to a place in my life where God had me focus on the idea of simplicity, and I suspect it may be the same for you. During this time, I was very complicated in most everything I did. I could not even entertain friends without complicating it.

     

    Not only were my actions complicated but also my thought processes. I complicated my relationship with God because I had a legalistic approach to righteousness. To me, life itself was complicated. I felt that I had a lot of complex problems, and I didn’t realize they were that way only because my approach to life was complicated. And when we are complicated inside, then everything else in life seems that way.

     

    James 1:6 says, “The double-minded (complicated, bewildered) man is unstable in all his ways…”

     

    For years, I sought for many things—answers to my situations, healing, success in my ministry, changes in my family, etc. Finally, I learned about the “one thing” I was supposed to be seeking. And what was that one thing?

     

    Psalm 27:4 gives us the answer. “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.”

     

    We make it overly complex, but it really is simple. The “one thing” is spending time with God and to look to Him for everything we need. It is the “seek first the kingdom of God” strategy that leads to the rest of fulfillment in our lives.

     

    No matter what you face, if you ask God what the simple approach would be, I believe you will be amazed at the ideas you’ll get from Him to help solve them. The Holy One lives in you and although He is awesomely powerful, He is also awesomely simple. The Holy Spirit will teach you simplicity if you truly want to learn.

     

    Final Thoughts and Action Items

    I think it’s important to end with this. On the road to making decisions, whether that’s to refuse to regret or dread, or even to choose simplicity, you will make mistakes along the way—you’ll not always get it right. But here is the beautiful thing about that: no one learns to hear from God without making those mistakes. Don’t be overly concerned about errors. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn from your mistakes, correct the ones you can and move forward.

     

    Action Items

    1. What are a couple areas in your life (in relationships, decisions or career) that you are over-complicating?
    2. Make the calculated decision to choose simplicity. Today, as you encounter various circumstances, ask God to help you locate the simplest route to fix it.

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

     

    Culled from http://www.joycemeyer.org/Articles/Devotional.aspx

    #33288

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    9th June, 2017

    Hello!!! Today’s devotional is here.

    Related image

    Joy in the Waiting

    Key Scripture: Proverbs 16:9

    “A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.”

     

    We think and plan in temporal terms, and God thinks and plans in eternal terms. What this means is that we are very interested in right now, and God is much more interested in eternity. We want what “feels good” right now, what produces immediate results, but God is willing to invest time. In fact, God is an investor; He will invest a lot of time in us because He has an eternal purpose planned for our lives.

     

    God sees and understands what we don’t see and understand. He asks us to trust Him, not to live in constant reasoning and be frustrated because things don’t always go according to our plan.

     

    Without abundant trust in God, we will never experience joy and enjoyment. We have ideas about how and when things should happen. Not only does God have a clearly defined plan for our lives, He also has the perfect timing for each phase. Psalm 31:15 assures us that our times are in His hands. Fighting and resisting the timing of God is equivalent to fighting His will.

     

    Often, we fail to realize that being out of God’s timing is the same thing as being out of His will. We may know what God wants us to do, but not when He wants us to do it.

     

    Final Thoughts and Action Items

    Once God speaks to us or shows us something, we are filled up with it. It’s as though we are “pregnant” with what God has said. It is very much like the birth of a child. First, the seed is planted in the womb, then come the nine months of waiting, and finally, a baby is born. During those nine months, there is a great deal happening—but everything on the inside is hidden from view.

     

    And just like parents are “expectant”, they aren’t just standing still—a lot of preparation is happening—they are very active! Clothes are being bought, nurseries are being painted, even routes to the hospital are being carefully planned. Essentially, this time of “waiting” is filled with joy because of what’s to come. I think this is what God is looking for out of His kids. That although the promises haven’t quite been born yet, we are in the active state of preparation, eagerly anticipating what’s to come. That we rely on His timing to fulfill the thing He’s promised for our lives.

     

    Action Items

    1. What are some of the things God has promised to you and how are you in the active state of waiting?
    2. Are you not just waiting on those things, waiting on God’s timing, but are choosing to live in a state of joy?
    3. What other ways can you decide to enjoy the life Christ died to give you? Look up scriptures regarding what it means to live in God’s will and how you can be a successful Christian.

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

     

    Culled from http://www.joycemeyer.org/Articles/Devotional.aspx

    #33443

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    12th June, 2017

    Good morning people of God. True the waiting can be long and no fun but our attitude while we wait for God to fulfill what our heart desires is also very important, which is what today’s devotional is all about.

    A Prayer against Grumbling

    “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

     

    There are grumblers among Christians now, just as there were in the camp of Israel of old. There are those who, when punished, cry out against the affliction. They ask, “Why am I afflicted? What have I done to be chastened in this manner?”

    A word with you, grumbler! Why should you grumble against the dealings of your heavenly Father? Can He treat you more severely than you deserve? Consider what a rebel you once were, but He has pardoned you! Surely, if He in His wisdom considers it necessary to chasten you, you should not complain. After all, are you punished as severely as your sins deserve? Consider the corruption that is in your heart, and then will you wonder that so much of the rod is necessary to root it out? Weigh yourself, and discern how much dross is mingled with your gold; and do you think the fire is too hot to purge away the amount of dross you have? Doesn’t your proud rebellious spirit prove that your heart is not thoroughly sanctified? Aren’t those grumbling words contrary to the holy, submissive nature of God’s children? Isn’t the correction necessary?

     

    But if you will grumble against the chastening, pay attention, for it will go hard with grumblers. God always chastises His children twice if they do not respond properly the first time. But know this–“He does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.”1 All His corrections are sent in love, to purify you and to draw you nearer to Himself. Surely it must help you to bear the chastening with submission if you are able to recognize your Father’s hand. “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”2 “. . . nor grumble the way some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.”3

     

    Dear Lord, this is the day you have made, so let us rejoice and be glad in it. Do not allow the enemy to steal our joy! Father, teach us to be grateful in all circumstances. Do not let our hearts become heavy with resentment and envy.

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

     

    Culled from http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/your-daily-prayer/a-prayer-against-grumbling-your-daily-prayer-june-12-2017.html

    #33521

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    13th June, 2017,

    Good morning ladies and gentlemen. The one word for today is Royalty!!! The devotional has all the deets…

    Of Thrones and Kings and Royal Things

    Today’s Truth

    God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:15b-16)

     

    Friend to Friend

    It was shockingly early when the alarm clock invaded my dreams, screaming at me to wake up that morning. Even the sun was still sleeping as I rose. With heavy eyelids and a groggy mind, I crawled out from beneath the cuddly warmth of my bed and ventured downstairs.

     

    The kids had set their alarm clocks as well. We trickled down, one sleepy Smith at a time, and met in our jammies for the big event. It was April 29, 2011. Prince William and Catherine Middleton were about to be married and we were giddy-excited to watch it live from the cozy comfort of our living room couch.

     

    It was worth the early wake-up just to see the hats that the women wore. They were so elaborate! Some were even a bit crazy. As the wedding guests filed into the church, the kids and I chatted non-stop about the dresses the women wore, the celestial music that sang throughout the cathedral, and the ornate beauty of Westminster Abbey.

     

    As Kate made her way down the aisle, my eyes leaked joy. There’s just something special about a bride’s walk down the aisle that messes with my makeup.

     

    The ceremony was magic. Brimming with Scripture and promise. Meaningful vows were exchanged and before we knew it, the bride and groom were married.

     

    Regal smiles lit up our living room as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge emerged as husband and wife and made their way to Buckingham Palace for the royal reception hosted by Her Majesty the Queen. They waved jubilantly to the tens of thousands of well wishers along the road as the world celebrated with them.

     

    Our culture has such a fascination with royalty! We love the regal bells and whistles with all of the fairytale happenings. Yet, for all the fanfare that royal families bring to society, many reigning monarchs have very little political power. Most earthly kings and queens don’t establish laws or truly rule the people as royalty once did. Even still, these families do influence the world around them.

     

    God is a not like our earthly kings. He is a King with power. He is the King of kings! Supreme in authority, He rules from a heavenly throne that is illuminated by His glory. When we recognize Him as King of kings, God is positioned in our hearts as the supreme ruler… as the absolute authority… as the powerful leader that we are all desperate for.

     

    His reign is eternal and supreme – yet His reign is intimately personal.

     

    Please don’t think I’m going all church on you here. This isn’t fluffy Christianese about a distant, non-feeling ruler who pats us on the head and graciously allows us to be His humble servants. It is a flesh and blood testimony about a loving God from a woman who knows what it’s like to be tangled in the knots of sin and shame. From a woman knows the freedom of forgiveness – a woman who delights to revere her all-compassionate King of mercy. I’m not who I was because my Savior, the King of kings, wore a thorny crown and took on my shame.

     

    Now that’s power, friend! A powerful King, like no other.

     

    We can confidently approach His throne of grace because of the finished work done by Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 4:16) You bet this is personal and you better believe He is powerful. Scripture is filled with rich praise for our King of kings:

     

    The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. (Psalm 103:19)

     

    No one is like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. Who should not revere you, O King of the nations? This is your due…. But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. (Jeremiah 10:6-7,10)

     

    How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth! (Psalm 47:2)

     

    But you, O Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations.(Psalm 102:12)

     

    Are you experiencing the power of the King of kings in your life? Do you know the freedom of forgiveness? Though it can be fun to watch the royal families among us, they are powerless to save you. God loved you so much that he made a way for you to have a fresh start in life through Jesus. A fresh start, a clean heart, and a royal inheritance.

     

    That, my friend, should make us all leak with joy.

     

    Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)

     

    Let’s Pray

    Holy God, King of kings, You are more glorious and powerful than I can possibly imagine! Thank you for crowning me with grace through Jesus Christ. Thank you that grace is enough. All glory and honor be to You, Lord!

    In Jesus’ Name,

    Amen.

     

    Now It’s Your Turn

    Read 1 Peter 2:9, ESV: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

     

    If you are a Christian, who does this verse say you are? Do you live like that’s who you are? Should you? What does the verse say you are supposed to do because of who you are?

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty @harrys-queen

     

    Culled from http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/girlfriends/

    #33603

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    14th June, 2017

    Good morning mamas and Dads. How’s the day going? The Bible tells us to pursue peace with all men as long as it lies with us. The Word didn’t say the other party, so be at peace with everyone and the devotional today explores another type of peace. The peace that directs our steps, if only we follow.

    Image result for Following peace

    Follow Peace

    Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].
    —Romans 8:6 AMPC

    People hesitate to follow their desires, because they don’t know how to divide their soul from their spirit. If they can’t discern the difference between the desires of their flesh and Spirit-led desires, then they don’t know when God is truly leading them to do something.

    But you can learn to know if God is leading you or not. When God gives you a desire for something, He will give you peace along with it. You may not be excited, but you will have peace, if the thing you desire is from God. Wait for peace today.

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

     

    Culled from http://www.joycemeyer.org/Articles/Devotional.aspx

    #33667

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    15th June, 2017

    Good morning all. It’s a chilly day here or maybe, it’s just me B-) . Hope you are having a lovely day though. The devotional for today is here.

    Does Life Balance Even Exist?

    “LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:5-6 (NIV)

    Devotion Graphic

    There have been many times when I lived without a pause button, but one season tops them all.

     

    All five of our children were in elementary school and involved in sports. The three boys played on three different football teams, one daughter was a cheerleader, and the other daughter played soccer. If that weren’t enough, my husband ran his own business, I worked part-time and sang on the worship team, and my husband and I led a small group at church.

     

    Our lives consisted of an ongoing handoff of children and responsibilities that needed military precision to keep moving.

     

    There was no time to meander, stroll or take the scenic route. And there were literally no breaks. Days ran into nights and weeks blurred into months without us having any time to relax and catch our breath.

     

    Thankfully, it didn’t last forever since the football season came to an end, but I declared that kind of overload would never, ever happen again. There was absolutely no margin for error or sickness.

     

    In the aftermath, I realized we had no non-negotiable boundaries set in place to protect us against that kind of crazy. Everything was fair game to cancel so we could get more done: We gave up family dinners, leisure time and didn’t guard the Sabbath.

     

    That season, and many others before it, proved that unless I put borders around my busyness, I will be a wreck, and my family will too. But it also begs the question: Does life balance even exist?

     

    For most of us, there are few non-negotiable boundaries when it comes to busyness. We live without the built-in rhythms of the rising and setting sun that guided our ancestors just a few generations back. Few of us live an agricultural or pastoral life led by the gentle demands of animals and crops.

     

    We could work 24 hours a day if our bodies and minds would let us. Hence, we get drawn into a nonstop lifestyle of work.

     

    Although I firmly believe the Bible honors hard work, the Bible does not say we need to be busy all the time. This is where we need wisdom to find a balance between work and rest.

     

    I love how King David acknowledges God’s perfect plans: “LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places: surely I have a delightful inheritance” (Ps. 16:5-6).

     

    Although David refers to property lines, this is a lovely image of God’s plan for balancing our lives. God has boundary lines established for us that are pleasant and manageable. He never meant for our lives to be a jumble of overcommitment. Rather, God’s plan is peaceful and ordered.

     

    And in order to find that pleasant place, we need to have healthy boundaries on our time with lots of margin built in.

     

    Margin plays an important part with a boundary, whether it’s on our property or in our lives. Margin creates safe places, adding beauty, breathing room and balance for the eye and mind.

     

    I learned this concept when I took an editing class. The beauty of well-designed page isn’t just what you see; it’s also what you don’t see. The un-designed area, called white space, carries as much, if not more, impact as the words or graphics.

     

    A significant value of white space is to make the page visually appealing so you want to read it. As our eyes scan a crowded page, our minds tell us it’s too much work and we disengage.

     

    But a page with lots of white space invites you in. It doesn’t feel overwhelming or chaotic. It feels simple, doable, calm. White space gives the reader a mental break while at the same time drawing your attention to what’s most important.

     

    And this is what a life with margin around boundaries does for us. When our lives are overcrowded with “content” and lacking white space, we will feel cluttered and confused. It’s hard to identify what’s most important because it all runs together in a blur.

     

    But by creating balance in establishing boundaries for our busyness, we give ourselves breathing room. We give ourselves time to think, dream and plan. Busy gets seriously out-of-control without boundaries.

     

    Finding balance is possible. Establishing healthy boundaries involves editing the content in our lives, carefully identifying what’s most important … what God is asking us to do today. Then as we remove what’s not ours to do, we can breathe a sigh of relief at the beauty that’s revealed in our lives.

     

    Lord, thank You that Your plan for me is pleasant and secure. Help me see those areas of my life that are crowded and confusing, and give me the wisdom to create a balance … to set boundary lines that bring peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

     

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (NIV)

     

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Is there an area of your life that feels overcrowded and lacking peace?

    Prayerfully consider what you can remove from your schedule, or to-do list, to create more margin in that area.

     

    Culled from http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/#sthash.MgV6c37i.dpuf

    #33719

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    16th June, 2017

    Good day ladies and gentlemen. Today’s devotional is here. :flasher:

    Image result for rest on sabbath

    Protect Your Sabbath Rest

    Today’s Truth

    Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy(Exodus 20:8-11, NIV).

     

    Friend to Friend

    In today’s rush-rush world, do you ever wonder if the Lord’s ideas about the Sabbath are still viable?

     

    For half of my adult life I lived as if this 4th commandment was as antiquated as the parchment on which it was written. Pressured by the demands of the upcoming week, I would use part of “my” Sabbath day to get a head start by food shopping, throwing in a load of clothes, finishing a house project, or working in the yard.

     

    One day the Holy Spirit confronted me. He revealed to me that my misuse of the Sabbath was actually a sign of mistrust on my part. If I was honest, I had to agree with Him. My actions proved I wasn’t trusting God to empower me to get everything done in the upcoming week without me stealing part of His Sabbath day for my purposes.

     

    After that albeit uncomfortable revelation, I decided to begin trusting God with my whole week, beginning with the newly honored Sabbath day—and guess what? Instead of becoming hopelessly behind in my tasks by the week’s end (as I had assumed), my other six days actually proved to be far more productive than normal. Undergirded with a day of Sabbath rest, I found new creative energy and I warded off burn out and illness, even under the weight of a heavy schedule!

     

    Today’s Scripture tells us that after God spent six days creating the world, He paused on the seventh day to rest. Did the Lord Almighty need to pause to put His feet up? I doubt that was the case. Instead I believe the Lord was modeling a behavior He wanted us to follow. He purposed himself to pause on that day and consider the work He had completed—stating that what He had accomplished “was good.” The Lord enjoyed reflecting on a job (or week) well done. When was the last time you set aside a day to do just that?

     

    You and I have been engineered with bodies that require adequate sleep, rest, and even recreation in order to function optimally and to feel well. Setting the Sabbath apart from the busyness of the rest of the week breeds physical, mental, and emotional health by allowing us the opportunity to reflect, recreate, and recharge.

     

    So if you are experiencing burn out, lacking creativity, or struggling with frequent illnesses, perhaps you’ve been leaving the gift of the Sabbath Day unopened as I did for far too many years.

     

    Let’s Pray

    Dear Lord of the Sabbath, forgive us for falling short of Your will and for disobeying Your command to honor the Sabbath day and to keep it holy. Please quicken our hearts to be Jesus followers in every way and on every day of the week. We exist to bring You praise.

    In Your precious and Holy Name we pray,

    Amen.

     

    Now It’s Your Turn

    So here is my challenge for you this week—trust Jesus. Accept the gift of the Sabbath the Lord has given you. Spend time with God, enjoying His presence, His creation, reflecting on the productivity of the past week, and getting recharged for the upcoming week. I trust you’ll find that your Heavenly Father had your best interest in mind when He commanded the observance of the Sabbath.

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty

     

    Culled from http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/girlfriends/

Viewing 15 posts - 241 through 255 (of 335 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.