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Daily Meditation

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  • #43917

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    5th January, 2018

    Hello all :hi:   :hi:   :hi:   Today’s devotional is here.

    The Buddy Bench

    So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

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    “What’d you do at recess today?” I asked my 7-year-old, Magdalene, as we lingered with ice cream cones on the back deck at the end of a hot school day.

    My daughter licked a chocolate drizzle from her lips and closed her eyes as if the answer to my question might be painted across the back of her eyelids. She paused for a moment; her cone dangling drippy in mid-air as she gathered her thoughts. Then a toothless grin spread across her face. Her eyes popped open in sync with her smile. “I played a game on the monkey bars,” she said. “And kept an eye on the buddy bench, of course.”

    It may not be a timeless staple like the chain-link swings or the classic monkey bars, but the buddy bench is my favorite feature on my daughter’s elementary school playground.

    A simple wooden seat planted on the edge of the kid-filled chaos, the buddy bench is a silent summons to be seen instead of overlooked, fortified instead of forgotten, loved instead of lonely.

    When a child needs a friend, she sits on the buddy bench. When a child feels left out or left behind, he sits on the buddy bench. When a child longs for a helping hand, a listening ear, an empathetic soul, she sits on the buddy bench.

    This precious playground seat carries no stigma nor shame; it merely issues an unspoken invitation:

    Will you join me in my time of need?

    It’s a question we’ve all asked, isn’t it?

    When the discouragement looms large or sadness swells sore, we wonder —

    Who will offer hope in our hopelessness?

    Who will extend mercy in our mess?

    Who will proffer prayer in our pain?

    That little buddy bench paints such a poignant picture of childlike friendship that the first time my daughter told me about it, I swallowed down a lump of tears and swiped at a few drizzles of sadness that zig-zagged down my cheeks.

    Maybe it was because I was stumbling through a wearisome wilderness of my own, and I longed for a friend to share my steps. Or maybe it was because sometimes, it feels like no one notices my silent struggles. But for whatever reason, on that particular day, I returned my daughter’s smile through a haze of hot tears and whispered, “I wish I had a buddy bench, too.”

    Later that evening, as I opened my Bible to the book of Hebrews, God reminded me He’s already granted my wish. I may not have the perfect pal planted on a wooden bench outside of my window, but I have a Faithful Friend seated on Heaven’s throne (Hebrews 12:2). And thanks to Christ’s accomplished work on the cross, I’m invited to sidle up to Him in prayer and find help in my time of need. And so are you!

    Hebrews 4:16 puts it like this —

    “So … come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

    In elementary playground lingo, that sounds like an invitation to Heaven’s Buddy Bench! 

    So, next time there’s no one to sit with us in our struggles, let’s seek our Savior who stands in the gap. And with childlike faith, let’s ask Him the question that’s burning on our hearts: Will You join me in my time of need?

    And I’m guessing that when we lean in and listen, we’ll hear Jesus say, “I’ve been here all along.”

    Dear God, thanks for never leaving me in my time of need. Open the eyes of my heart to see You even when it seems like no one sees me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:

    Hebrews 13:5b, “I will never leave you; I will always be by your side.” (VOICE)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:

    Where do you usually turn when you have a need? This week, take a seat on Heaven’s buddy bench. Talk to Jesus in prayer, and carve out some time to read your Bible and listen for what He wants to say to you, too.

    Ask the Lord to show you someone in your life who needs a friend “to sit with her on the buddy bench.” Find a way to let that person know that you see her need and you’re praying for her.

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty  @smiley @princem @endaleedith @zanar @kokie @gloryu @ritamari@garuba

     

    Culled from https://proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2018/01/05/the-buddy-bench

    #43978

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    8th January, 2018

    Good morning ladies and gentlemen. It’s a brand new week and today’s devotion can help you to set the tone for the day and week.  :heart:   :heart:

    Image result for God has big dreams for you

    God Has Big Dreams For You

    Today’s Truth

    “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV, 1985 edition).

    Friend to Friend

    I love the story of Esther in the Bible. She is definitely one of my girlfriends in God! I can’t wait to give her a big hug. Let’s think about her a moment today.

    Can you imagine what young Esther, a girl without mother or father, would have thought if someone had come up to her at the market while gathering produce for her cousin and told her that she was going to be the next queen of Persia? That she would save her people from annihilation? I imagine she would have laughed or run for cover from the lunatic making such a prediction. But God had a plan. He took a lonely orphan girl and used her to rescue the Jewish nation.

    If someone had come to me in my teen years and told me that I would be spreading the gospel through an international radio program, speaking at women’s conferences, and authoring several books, I would have quickly informed them that they had a serious case of mistaken identity.

    My voice is too Southern, my confidence was too shattered, and my brain is wired for math and science. As a matter of fact, when God did begin opening doors for ministry, I reminded Him of all my shortcomings and why He had the wrong girl for the job. But as I began to take those first baby steps of obedience, He began to show me glimpses of His great plan.

    Our dreams are always too small when compared to the magnificent dreams God has planned for His girls. While God has probably not called you to save an entire nation from destruction, He has called you to be a woman He can use. Missionary Amy Carmichael wrote, “Often His call is to follow in paths we would not have chosen.”

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

    Whether God is calling you to be a catalyst for saving someone from physical death or being a catalyst for saving someone from spiritual separation from God, when you move forward in obedience, empowered by His strength, bolstered by His power, and confident in His provision, you will see Him accomplish great and mighty works through you.

    How marvelous that He allows us to participate and be the hands and feet through which He works.

    “For we are God’s workmanship,” Paul reminds us, “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). God created Esther for a purpose, just as He has created you and me for a purpose…“for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14 NIV).

    Let’s Pray

    Lord, I am wide open to receive Your instruction. I know that You have created me with a purpose and a plan in mind. My greatest purpose is to glorify You in all that I do. Help me to pay attention when You send me on assignment, and help me not miss it. I know I was born for such a time as this.

    In Jesus’ Name,

    Amen.

    Now It’s Your Turn

    Take some time and read the first four chapters of the book of Esther this week. God’s name isn’t mentioned, but sleuth for His fingerprints throughout the story.

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty  @smiley @princem @endaleedith @zanar @kokie @gloryu @ritamari@garuba

     

    Culled from https://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/girlfriends-in-god/girlfriends-in-god-january-8-2018.html

    #44049

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    10th January 2018

    Hello ladies and gentlemen. Hope your day is going great. Today’s devotional is below.

    Image result for a holy balance

    Finding a Holy Balance

    Today’s Truth

    Now as they went on their way, He (Jesus) entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what He was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her’ (Luke 10:38-42, NRSV).

    Friend to Friend

    As I watched the movie “Twister,” I was reminded of the small Texas town where I grew up. Tornadoes were a common occurrence in Brownwood. When ominous dark clouds gathered and the possibility of tornadoes increased, warning sirens screamed a warning, and everyone headed for the nearest shelter. Our shelter was an old, musty storm cellar in the back yard where my family huddled until the “all clear” siren sounded. I hated storms and always hoped that each storm would be the last storm. It never was.

    Life is filled with storms – overcrowded schedules, emotional bankruptcy, and physical exhaustion. Emotions spin out of control and chaos reigns. My first reaction is to run and hide until the storm passes. But I have come to two realizations. First, there will always be another storm. Second, I must learn to prepare for storms before they hit.

    Most women I know struggle with this issue of balance. It’s hard to set and keep boundaries in place. We end up just doing “the next thing.” Balance becomes a casualty of this ongoing battle.

    Frustration and darkness prosper in an imbalanced life, thriving on the vacuum of clear purpose and sure direction. The solution is to establish a holy balance, a balance that only God can bring. The lives of Mary and Martha offer a profoundly simple but practical three-step plan for living a balanced life of power and purpose.

    Martha is a girl after my own heart. A perfectionist and recognized by all who knew her as disciplined, strong-willed, and energetic, Martha seemed to know who she was and where she was going. Because of her leadership in the community, people listened when she spoke. Martha was single, financially secure, and owned her own home, which she shared with her sister Mary, and their brother Lazarus. They were a close family living in a small town named Bethany just outside Jerusalem.

    Martha could have been considered the “Betty Crocker” of Bethany. She had the gift of hospitality and entertained often, freely welcoming friends as well as strangers into her home. Religious leaders, business executives, and virtually anyone in need, including her close friend Jesus, knew they had an open invitation to this home.

    Martha seemed to be an intense woman with deep feelings and sure convictions. She loved truth and was quick to share her strong beliefs, the mark of an unwavering faith. Martha certainly had faults just as we do. I am convinced that, at times, she may have missed some of the higher moments of life because she was “too busy.” Sound familiar?

    Mary, the sister of Martha, is an entirely different story. She lived for the higher moments in life. A free spirit, Mary probably saw little value in a clean house, cooked meals, and strict schedules. Nothing could compare to the cherished treasures of peace and freedom. I don’t think Mary missed many of the “Kodak moments” of life. I suspect she was an avid learner who thrived on anything that compelled her to think and reflect. Mary was almost childlike in her hunger for truth – especially spiritual truth.

    Like her sister, Mary felt things deeply. Sometimes those feelings drove her to do things that others could not understand. For example, it was unusual for a woman to sit among men. But Mary did. She sat at the feet of Jesus while He taught His disciples. Lost in the wonder of hearing new truth, Mary seemed oblivious to her critics and did not appear to notice or even care what people around her thought. She found it easy to abandon herself to those she loved, and thrived on the relationships in her life. Relationships with people like the man named Jesus.

    Mary was brave. To go against the “norm” by daring to be so different and perhaps even live in the shadow of her very successful and highly regarded sister took courage. Mary was human and imperfect. To some, she may have seemed lazy and flighty.

    Mary is often considered the spiritual one while Martha is thought to be the not-so-spiritual one. We tend to look at their lives and say we should be like Mary.

    I believe the lives of both women offer invaluable life lessons about balance. God is not the author of confusion nor does He create chaos, setting His children up to drown in the raging seas of burnout and exhaustion. We do a great job of that all on our own. But we can learn important lessons from Mary and Martha, apply them to our lives today, and experience a balance that will help us find a holy life balance.

    Let’s Pray

    Father, help me learn to cherish and make time to simply sit at Your feet and be in Your presence. Teach me how to discipline my steps and invest my time in a way that pleases You and honors the plan You have for my life.

    In Jesus’ Name,

    Amen.

    Now It’s Your Turn 

    Set aside time this week to spend in solitude. Examine your life in the light of balance. What priorities are obvious? What areas are out of balance? How has this imbalance affected your life? What changes do you need to make in order to live a balanced life of purpose?

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty  @smiley @princem @endaleedith @zanar @kokie @gloryu @ritamari@garuba

     

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

    #44088

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    11th January, 2018

    Good morning all. It’s a beautiful Thursday and today’s devotional is here. It’s asks the fundamental question of “Who is your teacher?”  or “Whose advice do you heed?” Read and be blessed.

    Are You Following the Holy Spirit or Your Emotions?

    So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him. — Romans 8:8 (AMPC)

    I talk a lot about how we need to follow the Spirit, not our emotions. However, I find that a lot of people don’t even understand how our emotions operate in the first place.

    Emotions are in the realm of the soul. Our soul is made up of our mind, will and emotions—it tells us what we think, what we want and how we feel. Of these three areas of the soul, it’s our feelings that get stirred up the fastest.

    In other words, the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit in our spirit become easily drowned out by the cries of our emotions.

    The Bible says that this “life of the flesh” doesn’t please God. This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love us. What it does mean is that He is not satisfied with nor will He accept fleshly behavior.

    However, once you understand how negative emotions work, you can overcome them. Our souls may be strong, but our spirits can be stronger if we strengthen them by spending time in God’s presence. Get in the Word today, and give your spirit the strength to overcome your emotions.

     

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty  @smiley @princem @endaleedith @zanar @kokie @gloryu @ritamari@garuba

     

    Culled from https://joycemeyer.org/dailydevo

    #44098

    Edithill
    Participant
    @EndaleEdith

    :yahoo:

     

    #44129

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    12th January, 2018

    Hello!!! Today’s devotional is here.

    Image result for rediscover joy in your work

    How to Rediscover Joy in Your Work

    “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” Proverbs 22:29 (NIV)

    As I faced the heaviest workload of my life, I fretted. To-do lists multiplied, and details started to feel overwhelming. Each day, I worked from sunup to sundown, and lay awake at night thinking about what the next 24 hours held.

    I was exhausted, discouraged and wondering if all my work meant anything.

    Then two things happened that changed my perspective.

    I remembered a prayer I’d prayed months before at the beginning of my gargantuan project. I prayed, “Lord, help me to do all that You call me to do in this season and not one thing more.”

    The Lord also brought to mind a conversation that I had with my friend, Suzie, where she shared a new concept. Suzie had prayed God would convert her work to worship. What a beautiful idea! Each morning she spent time with God, reading her Bible and praying, and then she moved into her work, letting God’s presence flow seamlessly into each task.

    As I reflected on the bad attitude I was starting to develop, I realized I had failed on both counts. I was overworking, and I was compartmentalizing my work as if it weren’t related to any other part of my life. Those two missteps were making me miserable by skewing my perspective about the labor of my hands.

    Here’s what happens when we work with wrong beliefs:

    1) We overwork

    Instead of following my prayer “Lord, help me to do all that You call me to do in this season and not one thing more” by listening for direction, I just dove right into my tasks — where I ended up frustrated, feeling like I was on a never-ending treadmill.

    Exhaustion is a sure indicator we need to consult God about our schedule. We need to ask Him questions such as: What do You want me to do? What do You want me to stop? What boundaries should I set on my work?

    God is amazingly faithful, and I’ve experienced His provision over and over with my time. When I listen for His directions for work and rest, it all gets done within a timeframe that astounds me. Working within His plan reminds me that His good gifts include both joy in our work and fulfillment of the other needs of our souls — love, friendship, community and rest.

    2) We compartmentalize our work

    One of my most harmful misconceptions over the years is seeing my spiritual life as something separate from my “real life.”

    As Proverbs 22:29 says, “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.”

    Although we might never work for a person with a prestigious title, and regardless of whether our tasks are inside or outside the home, we still work for the King of Kings. An element of skill in our work is knowing who our true Boss is — and working for His pleasure. It’s seeking His direction so we’re working smarter, not harder. It’s following Him to find joy in what we’re accomplishing.

    Our triune God has created us as fully integrated beings with a body, soul and spirit. God designed work as good — even in the Garden of Eden. Worship flows into the way we treat our bodies, which includes how we feed our minds and the plans we have for our work. Seeing our spiritual life connected to our workload helps us do everything as if we’re doing it for God, because whether we recognize it or not, we really are!

    Making our work into worship gives it worth.

    In truth, because God created us as spiritual beings, we’ll automatically worship while we work. The question is, Who are we worshipping? Are we worshipping ourselves by setting our own agendas and goals, or are we worshipping God by following His? The results are completely different.

    Let’s worship God with our work so we can find joy and fulfillment again!

    Dear Lord, I need to regain joy in my tasks. Help me to worship You as I work, doing it all for the King of Kings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Proverbs 31:17, “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” (NIV)

    Genesis 2:15, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (ESV)

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty  @smiley @princem @endaleedith @zanar @kokie @gloryu @ritamari@garuba  @endaleedith

     

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

    #44188

    Oluwakemi
    Keymaster
    @Oluwakemine

    15th January, 2018

    Good morning people of God. The title of today’s devotional has a message all on its own. Enjoy. :heart:   :heart:

    Breaking Free of the Comparison Trap

    “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

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    Can I tell you a secret? For way too much of my life, I fell into the trap of comparing myself with others. When I did, I always came up short. I felt I wasn’t smart enough, strong enough or spiritual enough … just not enough, period. And because of that, I stayed stuck in a mediocre faith.

    Through the years I’ve learned one valuable truth: The measuring stick will get you stuck. Comparison is the devil’s tool that’s kept many of us from stepping into our God-given destinies.

    For about a year, I hung out with Moses by the burning bush. I listened to Moses argue with God about his insecurities and pondered God’s responses to all his questions and quandaries.

    When I met up with Moses in Exodus 3, he was an insecure, stuttering recluse. Yep, we were kindred spirits. He complained he was not good enough and begged God to pick someone else to address the Pharaoh and lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. Specifically, he whined he was not a good speaker, even though centuries later in the New Testament, Stephen recorded Moses was “powerful in speech and action” (Acts 7:22b, NIV).

    So how do you think Moses came up with the idea he was not a good speaker? Here’s what I think. I think it happened because Moses compared himself to other people he thought were good speakers.

    Comparison opens the door for sabotaging lies to steal our confidence and stymie our courage. Comparison puts up roadblocks along the path to fulfilling our God-given calling by setting an undefined standard of approval and acceptance.

    We fear the REJECT stamp will come crashing down with wet ink that mars all of life. We fear that perhaps we’re fatally flawed … as confidence seeps through the holes of insecurity, punctured and punctuated by comparison.

    We compare our abilities to someone else’s and come to this conclusion: I could never do it like she does it. And you know what? We were never meant to! God doesn’t need two people just alike. He has uniquely and precisely created you and me with specific gifts and talents to do exactly what He’s called us to do.

    David wrote: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”(Psalm 139:13-14).

    David wasn’t praising God for the way He flung the stars in the night sky, set the spinning earth on its axis or stocked the oceans with sea creatures of every kind. David was marveling at the magnificent masterpiece called David. Me. You. He knew that full well.

    You are God’s workmanship. His masterpiece — His grand finale of all creation. Do you know that full well?

    God knows our inadequacies and insecurities. He knows what caused them and who caused them. He saw you and me before we even had them. Yet God chose us before we were born for a purpose — to fulfill a plan in a predetermined point in time (Acts 17:26).

    It’s time we stop comparing ourselves with others. I know it’s hard … Boy, is it hard! But the measuring stick will get you stuck.

    God made you to be you! He thinks you’re amazing. And so do I.

    Heavenly Father, please forgive me for comparing myself with others rather than praising You for the way You’ve knit me together and gifted me. I know I’m Your workmanship — Your handiwork. Today, I let go of the measuring stick of comparison, and take hold of the way You’ve uniquely fashioned me for Your purposes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:

    Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV)

     

     

    cc: @nicole @lala @bosa @bibi @peace @uloma @ketty  @smiley @princem @endaleedith @zanar @kokie @gloryu @ritamari@garuba  @endaleedith @wunmiabi

     

    Culled from  https://proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2018/01/15/breaking-free-of-the-comparison-trap

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