August 23, 2017 at 8:30 am #37689
23rd August, 2017
Good morning all. I bet we have all been in that not-so-nice place, where we felt unseen, unappreciated and frustrated but God sees and here’s a reminder.
For When You Feel Unseen
“O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.” Psalm 139:1-3 (NKJV)
Though winter had only begun to put its hardened, white-knuckle clutch on the earth outside my door, December was already entrapping me. I was weeks away from delivering a baby and instead of baking cookies and spreading Yuletide cheer, I was on the phone with refrigerator repairmen and plumbers.
Eight appliances in two weeks — all broken. Even my bathroom toilet.
As I spoke with one of the multiple service people who visited our house that week, I was wearing one of the two clean shirts I had left which covered my pregnant belly. All of life seemed to be falling out of the edges.
Days later I was on bed rest, mulling over the less-than-ideal “inn” my home and heart was for this baby. In the midst, I’d made dozens of phone calls to remedy this mess and barely had the energy to text a friend to ask for help or a prayer.
As I considered it all, I sunk.
Thoughts like I’m too old and tired to raise this baby well, and no one could possibly understand the weight of responsibility I carry for all of these children raced, unfettered, through my bed-rested hours.
We have four children whom we’d adopted — four hearts under our roof getting mended — and this baby I carried was our second of two surprise biological babies that came shortly thereafter. That’s six children, total. After nearly a decade of sitting in the waiting room of infertility clinics and living as just the two of us, we blinked and quickly grew into a family of eight in a few short years.
No one could possibly understand the unique weight I carry, was where my mind went. No one sees all that I walk through in a day. My thoughts roiled while my body fought to rest.
Except these thoughts weren’t new. These exact phrases had echoed through the corridors of my mind before.
I was 28 and barren and measuring my friends’ bellies with toilet paper at baby showers thinking … no one could possibly understand my pain.
I was 32 and shuffling my feet over the newly-turned earth that held my dad’s casket saying to myself … no one sees the extent of this loss.
I was 35 with four children who created piles of laundry and dishes and moved from one stack of toys to another, thinking … no one knows what these eight undocumented hours feel like.
Apparently this feeling of “being unseen” wasn’t new to me.
Yet something inside me told me I was made to be seen.
It was His Word.
“O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways” (Psalm 139:1-3).
At 25 and overlooked for the promotion you’ve been working toward for two years.
He sees your hard work when your boss doesn’t.
At 30 and still single.
God sees the inner-workings of your heart — and enjoys them — when Friday night doesn’t mean date night.
You’re caring for a sick parent or child or a friend from church. Four doctor’s appointments in one week.
He sees your outpouring.
Even your best friends might not know the anniversary of your mom’s death or the hours you spent holding your frightened child in the dark or how you fight for your marriage in secret prayer.
But He does.
And His eyes — those tender eyes that do not miss one single movement of your heart, one single glance back at Him … those eyes that study you — they change everything.
Dear God, open my eyes to see You, seeing me. When I feel unnoticed and under-acknowledged, open me up to receive You and how You see me, right here. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 139:7-8, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.” (NKJV)
Matthew 6:4b, “And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (ESV)
Does anyone notice our daily lives? Watch this short film to catch a glimpse of how God sees you in the midst of your most unseen hours.
Culled from http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/encouragement-for-today/encouragement-for-today-august-23-2017.htmlAugust 24, 2017 at 9:48 am #37767
24th August, 2017
Hello all. Mommas in the house, today’s devotional is just for you. Enjoy!!
When You Feel Like a Bad Mom
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25 (NIV)
Have you ever struggled with letting a circumstance define you? This seems to be a lesson God lets me live over and over again. He wants to be my only definition of who I am.
I am a child of God, holy and dearly loved.
I know this. I teach this. I believe this. Yet it is so easy for me to slip into redefining myself when situations arise.
Several years ago, one of my precious, precious, precious yet just-as-apt-to-sin-as-the-rest-of-us kids was called to the principal’s office — on the very day I received an invitation to speak at a national parenting conference.
With my head I was able to see the situation for what it was: My child is in the process of being shaped. My child is strong, and while this will serve her well later in life, strength in an immature little person begs to be disciplined. She is a sweet child who made a not-so-sweet choice.
However, in my heart I felt like a failure. I wanted to decline the opportunity to speak, and crawl into a hole. A part of me felt as though I’d personally been called to the principal’s office, as the voice of condemnation started haunting me: You are a bad mom. You have a bad child.
Quietly, I slipped away with Jesus and did what I’d done a hundred times before. I held those condemnations up to the Lord and asked Him to help me see this situation the way He wanted me to see it. Not the way others see it, not the way my heart is tempted to see it, but the way He sees it.
Matthew 7:24-27 brings some perspective: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (NIV)
Do you know what amazes me about these verses? Both the person doing right and the person doing wrong experienced hard times. In each case the rains came, the streams rose and the wind blew and beat against the house.
Just because we’re parents living out God’s principles for life doesn’t mean we won’t face difficult circumstances.
God’s Spirit spoke to my heart that day and said, Let Me invade your natural flesh reaction. Instead of letting your mind run wild with this, sit with Me for a while. Be still, and know that I am God.
So I sat and prayed. I went from defining myself as a failure of a mom to being a praying mom who can face hardships in a godly way. The frustration diffused as I determined to look at the situation from God’s perspective.
God’s truth reassured me. I am not a bad mom. My child is not a bad child.
This situation is a call to action.
There is a character issue that needs to be addressed within the heart of my child. And kids are supposed to have character issues that need to be addressed by their parents. That’s why God gave me this specific child. God sees within me the ability to be the one He’s perfectly designed to raise this child.
When hard times come and beat against our stability, we must determine to hear God’s words and put them into practice. Then nothing can topple our peace, security or true identity.
I’m not sure who else needed to hear that — but I know I did. So dry your tears, sweet mama. Today is a new day. A day when we will only be defined by God’s truth and grace as we navigate this wild wonder called parenthood.
Dear Lord, help me be the mom You’ve called me to be today. I want to honor You in everything I do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 John 3:20, “If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” (NIV)
Isaiah 40:11, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” (NIV)
Culled from http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/August 28, 2017 at 10:57 am #37910
28th August, 2017
Good morning all. Wishing you the very best of today and always. Here’s today’s devotional.
What If He Gets Lost?
“LORD, You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future.” Psalm 16:5 (HCSB)
There he went. Just like that.
With his eyes fixed on the journey before him, he didn’t have time to look back. Confidence and anticipation pushed his feet faster. It was all he could do to keep from breaking into a full sprint.
His dad walked beside him, likely instilling one more value, one more reminder of how to handle life on his own. And, really, it wasn’t life on his own, just his first taste of life apart from family.
My son recently went to his first overnight camp. For a week, my pre-teen would enjoy the fellowship of Christian comrades and counselors along with many adventurous outdoor activities and challenges.
And though I knew this camp, I knew the people and I knew we were doing something good for our son, my heart strings stretched. We walked him to his cabin, made his bed and lingered in his room. In fact, we stayed so long it prompted our son to ask, “When are y’all leaving?”
I took a deep breath, issued one last hug, then started the long walk to the car without my baby. As I walked, I worried.
Who will tell him when it’s time for dinner? Who will sit next to him and rub his back while he prays? Who will ask questions to be sure he’s okay?
As I brought my concerns to Jesus, He reminded me of my cat. Well, more like our cat and his relationship with the aforementioned son.
See, Jonah, our son, makes it his business to watch over Chief, the cat. It concerns Jonah when Chief wanders outside. But Chief likes to be outside. So, at the slightest crack of the door, Chief bolts.
He does what cats do outdoors. He chases lizards and pounces on things only he can see. Chief basks in the sunlight and sprawls out in the grass. He lives free and fulfilled — right up until the moment Jonah sees him.
Then, it’s on.
Cat dodges the first lunge. Jonah regroups. Cat hides behind a bush. Jonah reevaluates. This goes on until the cat calls it quits and lets the eager boy scoop him up and carry him back into the house … where Jonah thinks Chief belongs.
It doesn’t bother anyone else for the cat to enjoy the outdoors, so I’ve asked Jonah, “Why won’t you let him stay out? He’s fine.”
“What if he gets lost, Mom?” Jonah answers with angst in his spirit. Nothing I say or do will change his mind.
The funny thing is Chief doesn’t get lost. He never has. In fact, he never really wanders too far from the house. Most days, he lays near the door or even right under my feet if I’m outside. He likes to be around his family, but he also likes the freedom to be a cat.
Just like my Jonah.
I think being a parent might just be the greatest trust exercise we’ll ever attempt. These kids, they’re like pieces of our hearts running around on the street. We instinctively protect. We run ahead and consider everything that could hurt, damage or mishandle them. But, Chief taught me something.
Sometimes, our kids just need freedom. Freedom to become who God made them to be. Freedom to seek God for themselves.
In our key verse, the psalmist praises the Lord for His provision over the present and the future, “You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future” (Psalm 16:5).
I’ve witnessed God provide for me, bless me and line out a future for me. And I can trust He’ll do it for my children, too. Because He is faithful and loves our children more than even we do, we can release our children into God’s care as they grow into His plans.
If your little one is growing up way too fast, rest in this today: God is his portion. God is his blessing. God holds his future.
Does my son still need me? Absolutely! As parents we have a big job that requires daily patience and teaching. But our children need God and His promises even more than they need us. And for that, we can be thankful.
Dear God, I’ve seen You move and work so often in my own life. Help me trust the same provision I’ve witnessed from Your hand is at work in the lives of my children. As they grow each day, draw them nearer to You. May they feast on Your portion, rejoice in Your blessing and trust in You for their future. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (NIV)
Culled from http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/August 29, 2017 at 12:12 pm #37998
29th August, 2017
Good morning lovely people How often do we say we trust the Lord with our lives but when push comes to shove, we are taking a look at our plan B or even plan C :yes:? Today’s devotional sheds more light.
When You Don’t Like the Story God is Writing
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV).
Friend to Friend
If it were up to me, I would have written some stories differently. My second child would not have died, and I would have a little girl who would be 21 years old this year. Carol’s son would not be in prison. Linda’s 20-year-old daughter would not be a quadriplegic. Barbara’s daughter would not be bipolar. Patty’s 21-year-old daughter would not have died in a car accident. Jennifer’s husband would not have died of a brain tumor. If I had been writing the story.
But I’m so glad I’m not the author of those stories. Each and every one of these friends has ministries that impact thousands upon thousands of women all over the world. God has turned their pain into purpose, the misery into ministry, and their devastation into anointed messages of hope and restoration. Sudden glories fill and spill from each of these women’s lives. Their love journeys of living and moving and having their being in Christ have led them through dark valleys and back out into the light on the other side. They practically glow with radiant wonder.
Difficult times are pregnant with glory moments just waiting to be birthed in the lives of those willing to labor through the pain. The key is to not allow bitterness and anger to make our hearts infertile to God’s gifts. One way to avoid the darkening of the soul is by constant communication seasoned with thanksgiving—a continual acknowledgement of His presence.
Glory moments in difficult times are not dependent on our circumstances, but on our focus. Focus on the difficulty and God is difficult to see. Focus on God and glory seeps through the broken places. Difficulties become the bass notes of our life’s song, adding a depth and beauty not found in a life that hovers around middle C.
After my husband and I got out of college, we moved to Charlotte so that my husband could go into practice with another doctor. But after we moved here, the doctor changed his mind.
“Sorry, Steve. Good luck,” the doctor said.
I was so upset. OK, I was angry. Flat out angry. Angry with the doctor and angry with God. We had no money. No job. And school debt.
Three months later a situation opened up that was far better than our original plan. It was Ephesians 3:20 in lab-coat white: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”
Well, why didn’t God do that in the first place? Why didn’t He lead us to that second opportunity when we did all that praying and seeking? He could have. But He is far more interested in developing our character than doling out a life of comfort and ease. C.S. Lewis notes: “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable. Think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”
We are ever the students. He is the teacher still. Trials rip away the flimsy fabric of self-sufficiency and become the raw material for God’s miracles in our lives. And those miracles are a sudden glory.
Someone once said, “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” Oh that we would trust Him even if the twists and turns never make sense this side of heaven. That’s what trusting God is all about. As we live and move and have our being in Him, the dark places are simply opportunities to trust that He knows the way—and the perfect time to hold on tight.
Father, thank You for always knowing and doing what is best for me. Forgive me when I don’t trust You, but think that my way is best. I know that You have wonderful surprises in store for me when I simply trust You in all things. Thank You for being the Teacher. Help me to be a good student of Your Truth.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
We can easily fall into the trap of thinking that God has forgotten us during difficult time. How do we see that in David’s words of Psalm 77:1-9?
Now read the rest of the Psalm. What did David do to remind himself of the faithfulness of God?
How does trusting God change the way you look at difficult situations?
Culled from http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/girlfriends-in-god/girlfriends-in-god-august-29-2017.htmlAugust 30, 2017 at 7:11 am #38059
30th August, 2017
Good morning all. Happy hump’s day to you all. Today’s devotional is here.
When You Feel Like You’re Barely Making It
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.’” Exodus 16:4a (NIV)
I’d never heard of persimmons. The advertisement said they were fruit, and it said they were free; that’s all I needed to know.
I emailed the anonymous poster and said I would take her up on her offer for free persimmons.
When I arrived at the stranger’s home, I cautiously walked up the brick steps to the front door. Before I could knock, two women — one middle-aged and one elderly — opened it.
“You must be the lady coming for the persimmons,” the younger woman said, smiling.
“Oh, yes,” I answered. “Can you tell me what exactly you do with them?” I blushed.
I didn’t want the women to know I’d never even seen a persimmon, much less cooked with one.
“Oh, all kinds of things!” the younger woman said, laughing. “We love to bake cookies, muffins and cakes with them.”
The ladies let me take my pick of the fruit, and I filled the box they set out for me. They then offered me several slices of fresh-baked persimmon pound cake.
Those women never knew how that box full of persimmons would go on to provide a persimmon muffin breakfast for our little family during a season of financial hardship.
God is the Great Provider. I’d known that since childhood, but I didn’t truly recognize His personal provision for our every need until I was in my early 30s. I had two children underfoot and one on the way, a husband who worked several extra jobs on the side, and an income that still didn’t cover all our expenses.
It was a desert season. The tunnel looked dark, and I couldn’t see a way out.
Yet, I look back now and see how we richly experienced God’s presence during that time. With a burgeoning belly, a baby on my hip and a toddler wrapped around my knees, it wasn’t uncommon for me to open a near-empty refrigerator and whisper prayers wrapped in thanksgiving: Dear God, You will meet our every need. You have never failed us. You are in control.
Our family learned to trust God during that season of need. I started looking at and crediting each and every incident — from sale items at the supermarket to the box of persimmons — as God’s provision for our family.
Like manna in the wilderness, the Lord provided again and again and again.
The manna or “bread” from Heaven in Exodus 16:4 wasn’t necessarily what the Israelites wanted, but it was what they needed: “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.’”
When my family was in need, God proved that we truly lacked nothing. Perhaps we desired more, but just as the Lord had provided for the Israelites in the desert, He covered our needs as well.
When I remember that all things come from the Lord, it enables me to practice contentment in every season. Expressing gratitude with each small gesture moves me from a state of just barely making it to more than just making it — if I let it.
Dear Lord, help me remember You are the Great Provider. Open my eyes to see Your provision in both times of plenty and in times of want. Cultivate a deeper faith in me during seasons when I feel like I’m just barely making it — both emotionally and physically. Help me be content despite my circumstances. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 4:12, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (NIV)
Culled from http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/encouragement-for-today/encouragement-for-today-august-30-2017.htmlAugust 31, 2017 at 7:11 am #38116
31st August, 2017
Good morning all. The devotional is here.
Prayer for a Pure Heart
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
I have always thought that fasting is for those who are holy. So clearly it was not for me. I have a lot of sins. But in the past few years, I have realized that fasting is not for the holy. It is for the desperate. For those who need Jesus to move and work and do miracles on their behalf. And that sounds a lot like me.
My brother-in-law, Van, says that fasting is a physical way of saying, “Jesus, I want what You want more than what I want.”
Because let’s just be honest. What I want is a chocolate bar. I don’t fast perfectly. I tend to fast in fits and starts. I often put limits on Jesus with my prayers. I may even try to strong-arm Him a little to get what I want. I know that never ends well. I told you up front…I’m not that holy.
But really—most of the time—I don’t want what Jesus wants more than what I want. I want what I want. I want healing or breakthroughs or miracles on my terms. I want what I want when I want it. I may shout, “Jesus, I want what You want!” But I usually end that shout with the whisper, “if it’s what I want.”
I have known myself long enough to know that I can’t change myself. But I have known Jesus long enough to know that He can. And so I am taking a page from King David’s playbook this morning. This is my prayer: Create in me a clean heart, O God. And renew a right spirit within me. This is what I would love Jesus to do in me. I think He is already working on it. Because it is what He wants too.
Faith Step: Pray King David’s prayer for a clean heart. Ask Jesus to reshape your thinking and your desires so that you want what He wants in your life.
Culled from https://www.guideposts.org/faith-and-prayer/daily-devotions/devotions-for-women/prayer-for-a-pure-heartSeptember 4, 2017 at 7:49 am #38240
Good morning all. How’s your long weekend still going? Hope fine. Today’s devotion wants us to listen more, ask questions and speak less. Stay blessed.
A Prayer to Listen and Ask Questions
“Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out” (Proverbs 20:5, NLT).
While Jesus was quite vocal when teaching God’s Word at different times, He often asked questions and listened as much as He talked. Something stood out to me about Jesus’s words in John 8 regarding the woman caught in adultery. He didn’t use many. He wrote in the sand (boy I would like to know what He wrote!), and then He made one statement, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” Finally, He asked the woman a question, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” Then He made one simple statement that carried a lot of teaching in it, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
As I read through Scripture, I find Jesus asking questions a lot. He is the God of the universe who knows everything, and yet He asked things like:
· Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? Matthew 6:27
· Do you believe I can do this? Matthew 9:28
· Why did you doubt? Matthew 14:31
· But who do you say that I am? Matthew 16:15
· Did you never read the Scriptures? Matthew 21:42
These are just a few recorded in Matthew’s gospel of the hundreds of questions Jesus asked over His three-year ministry span.
Asking questions brings us closer in relationship and helps us discover truths that sink deeper when we come to them on our own.
Here are some questions I’m going to try to implement with others in the next few weeks:
· Of all that you’ve told me, which part is the most important for me to understand?
· Why do you think that happened?
· How would you like to be treated in that situation?
We can learn from Jesus about asking more questions and using fewer words. Not only is this helpful in our families but in our workplaces, communities, and churches as well. This week I’m going to ask God for a greater awareness in all my relationships to ask good questions, listen more, and see what positive changes He might bring. I hope you’ll join me.
Dear Lord, I want to learn to listen more than I speak. Show me how to interact with others in a way that helps them dig deep to find wisdom. Reveal to me when I am talking too much and need to ask questions instead. I’m grateful that I can bring all my questions to You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.September 5, 2017 at 11:01 am #38309
5th September, 2017
Good morning. How’s your Tuesday going? Hope beautifully. Today’s devotional is a grace-filled one. 😉
Living in God’s Grace
Since all of Paul’s letters begin with an expression of God’s grace to us, we may be tempted to think that it is simply a customary word of greeting. But in reality, God’s grace is our foundation, our covering, and the sphere in which we live as believers in Christ.
Grace is commonly defined as God’s unmerited and undeserved favor. According to Ephesians 2:8, it’s the means by which we are saved through faith. And Romans 5:2says that by our faith, we have “obtained our introduction … into this grace in which we stand.” In other words, we are continual recipients of an abundance of grace throughout life and into eternity.
Just as our salvation never ends, so God’s grace never ceases to do its work in our life. That’s why Paul could confidently say, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). We never have to fear that we will lose our salvation, because God is the one who keeps us and promises to complete us when Christ returns. Furthermore, Paul says we have been “filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ [and glorifies] God” (v. 11).
Sometimes it’s difficult to see righteousness in ourselves, because we know how weak and flawed we are. But if we’ve been saved, then Christ lives in us and we in Him (John 15:4). He is our righteousness, and He’s actively producing His fruit in our life as we abide in Him. This process, known as sanctification, is God’s grace working to align our behavior with Christ’s righteousness. So let’s stand firm in His grace and trust Him to complete us.
Culled from https://www.intouch.org/read/magazine/daily-devotionsSeptember 6, 2017 at 11:01 am #38360
6th September, 2017
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Today’s devotional is here.
When You Feel Lost in Your Life
“‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’” Genesis 16:13b (NIV)
As I stared out the window washing dishes yet again, I couldn’t help but feel as if I were marking time.
Exactly how much time had I spent in front of the sink over the years with my hands in hot, soapy water, running circles over a plate with a rag or twisting it inside then outside a dirty cup? What else could I have accomplished in my life if I weren’t cleaning up the kitchen multiple times a day?
Even on that sunny afternoon, when there wasn’t anything particular to cry about, a tear escaped from the corner of one eye, quickly traveling to the bottom of my chin where it hung for a few seconds before dropping into the sudsy water below.
I felt lost.
Lost in the middle of my own life.
I loved my husband, my kids and my home, but on that day and on many days since, I’ve wondered if all the time I’ve spent doing mundane activities means anything to anyone. It’s more than just the dishes … the diapers, the laundry and making dinner every night sometimes seemed so cyclical and redundant.
And then there is the issue of time.
Time moves more quickly by the minute. All of the people and things I loved simultaneously seemed to make me feel invisible.
I felt hidden.
As I stood with yet another tear making its way down the path of the first, I uttered an aching whisper to my heavenly Father. I told Him how I felt and asked Him to help me remember my unconditional value in Him.
And then He reminded me.
He reminded me about Hagar, who also felt hidden, unnoticed, unseen and forgotten. She had done the mundane work of being a servant girl and now felt tossed aside. (Genesis 16:6) She was alone when God spoke to her. And He told her that He saw her.
He saw her circumstances and assured her He had a plan — a plan that involved her continuing in the mundane work for a season.
And then He reminded me of others who also may have felt a little lost during a mundane season of life.
He saw Ruth doing the mundane work of picking up the leftover grain in the field for a season (Ruth 2:2), and He reminded me how it prepared Ruth for her husband.
He saw David doing the mundane work of shepherding sheep for a season (1 Samuel 16:19), and He reminded me how it prepared him to one day become King David.
He saw Peter and other disciples doing the mundane work of casting nets in hopes of catching a bounty of fish (Matthew 4:19), and He reminded me how it prepared the disciples to be fishers of men.
As I stood staring out the window, my heavenly Father reminded me that He saw me. He lovingly assured me my life was not lost to Him. He saw me doing the mundane work of dishes, diapers and dinner. He tenderly reminded me that my work didn’t define me but instead created character and beauty in my heart and home. He reminded me that even mundane work can be an act of worship.
He reminded me what I was doing was the primary work for a season, and that my faithfulness would lay a foundation for my future and the future of my family.
I was not lost at all. He saw me. The woman I am, the woman I’ve been and the woman I wanted to be. He knows how to care for me in each season and also prepare me for seasons to come.
Dear heavenly Father, I’m so glad to know that You see me. I’m so glad to know You value me unconditionally because I am Yours. Help me when I feel unseen, unnoticed or forgotten. Remind me that even my ordinary, routine work can be done for Your glory and that my life — even on mundane days — matters to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Matthew 6:3-4, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
You might feel lost in your life, but your life is never lost to God. Even on mundane days, your life matters to Him. He sees you.
Culled from http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/encouragement-for-today/encouragement-for-today-september-6-2017.htmlSeptember 7, 2017 at 7:07 am #38431
7th September, 2017
Good morning. It’s a beautiful Thursday and the devotional is here!!
Conquering the Wilderness Mentality
The Israelites wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years to make what was actually an 11-day journey. Why?
Once, as I pondered this situation, the Lord said to me, “The Israelites couldn’t move on because they had a wilderness mentality.” The Israelites had no positive vision for their lives—no dreams. They needed to let go of that mentality and trust God.
We really shouldn’t view the Israelites with astonishment because most of us do the same things they did. We keep going around the same mountains instead of making progress, and it takes us years to experience victory over something that could have been dealt with quickly.
We need a new mindset. We need to start believing that God’s Word is true. Matthew 19:26 tells us that with God all things are possible. All He needs is our faith in Him. He needs for us to believe, and He will do the rest.
The Lord is saying the same thing to you and me today that He said to the children of Israel: “You have dwelt long enough on this mountain.” It’s time for us to move on!
Culled from https://joycemeyer.org/dailydevoSeptember 11, 2017 at 9:16 am #38598
11th September, 2017Good morning. It’s a beautiful rainy Monday, but we count it all joy And trust God’s plans for our lives, which is what today’s devotional is all about. Enjoy!!!
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31
God does what he plans, and nothing can keep him from it!
Think about who God is. He’s the Supreme Being of the universe, the Creator of everything besides himself, the Author of life. He’s omnipotent, all powerful. If God decides to do something, what could possibly thwart his purpose? Nothing!
Some Christians are afraid of God’s power, as if it could mean disaster for them. But only those who are opposed to God’s purpose need to fear his power. If you’re building your life around God’s purposes in this world, then you can be sure that all of God’s power stands behind you, ready to support his work through you.
If you don’t have a clear sense of what God’s purpose is for you, then build your life around the purposes of God that are true for everyone. He wants you to honor him with your life, to speak of him to others, to give him the credit for what he does in your life, and to pursue a deeper relationship with him each day.
God is reassuring you through this verse today that he’s dependable; his promises are reliable; and you don’t need to be nervous about following his will in your life. If he is for you, who can be against you?
Heavenly Father, teach us to trust in you. Remind us that your plans are to help and not harm. For you are a loving God. You know all the days of mankind. You have numbered the hairs on our heads. Please help us to hear you calling and respond as faithful children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Culled from http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/your-daily-prayer/your-daily-prayer-september-11-2017.htmlSeptember 12, 2017 at 10:43 am #38651
12th September, 2017
Good morning. It’s a bright Tuesday. to a great day. The devotional is here.
Release Your Burdens & Trust Him
One of the ways we can discern that we are truly trusting God, rather than merely trying to trust Him, is whether or not our souls are resting in God’s faithfulness. If I say I am trusting God, but I continue to carry the weight of the burden by worrying and being anxious, then I have not released the burden to the Lord. I may want to. I may be trying to. But I have not done it yet.
Understanding this has helped me to learn what real trust in God is. It is more than words—it is releasing the weight of my burden; a decisive action that brings rest to my soul (mind, will, emotions).
Just imagine that you are carrying a backpack filled with rocks everywhere you go. You take it to work, to the market, to church, and it is a heavy burden, but you continue to carry it. Now imagine that you decide to drop it—just think how much better you would feel and how much easier everything would be.
That’s the way it is when we worry and carry the weight of burdens with us instead of entrusting them to God. We continue functioning and doing what we need to do, but the weight of the burden places a great deal of stress on us and makes our life very difficult. You can decide to drop your burden today by trusting God, if you choose to, and you will be glad you did.
Culled from https://www.joycemeyer.org/dailydevoSeptember 14, 2017 at 3:03 pm #38798
14th September, 2017
Hello How’s your day going? Today’s devotional is here.
The Widow’s Mite and Mighty Faith
“Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny (Mark 12:41-42 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Beatrice woke as the morning sun peeked through the closed shutters of her sparse bedroom. Every joint in her tired old body creaked like a grinding wheel in dire need of good oiling.
Her arthritic hands rubbed sleepy eyes and instinctively reached to the empty space where her husband slept so many years ago.
“Another Sabbath to worship Jehovah,” she smiled. “Oh LORD, thank you for the health and strength to travel to your house today. Thank you for all the many blessings that you have showered on this old woman.”
Beatrice slipped on her worn woolen garment, wound her grey streaked hair around her head and splashed yesterday’s water on her wrinkled face. Slipping her hand into her money pouch hidden behind a grouping of jars, she fumbled her fingers to gather an offering for the temple coffers.
A heavy sigh escaped her lips as her hand retrieved two small coins. She put her hand back in the pouch and ran her fingers from side to side. This time she came up empty.
Looking at the two small coins in her hand she continued her conversation with God. “I wish I had more to give you today. But LORD, this is all I have.” Not once did Beatrice wonder how she would buy wheat for her next meal. She knew God would provide. He always did.
Beatrice shuffled out the door and through the busy streets of Jerusalem. The population was more than doubled because of the Passover celebration. Jews from miles around gathered at the temple during the holy week.
People, people, everywhere people, Beatrice thought to herself. And not one notices an old worthless widow woman like me.
Beatrice kept her eyes down as she climbed the first set of steps to the Women’s Court in the temple. I’m glad I’m not a man or priest, she mused to herself. I don’t think I could climb all those stairs to get to the upper levels.
The widow made her way to the same offering receptacle she always used. When she raised her eyes to place the two small coins in the container, she noticed a man sitting right beside it. It was Jesus! It was too late to turn back or walk to another coffer. Color rose to her cheeks as she realized that the Teacher was watching her. Beatrice cringed with embarrassment as she dropped the two small coins into the large box. What must He think of me? She thought.Two copper coins.
When she looked up and met Jesus’ gaze, He grinned from ear to ear and nodded his approval. Every wrinkle in her face crinkled as she returned the smile. But what He said next made her feel like a spry young girl again.
“Peter. John. James. Friends, come over here,” Jesus called. “You’re looking around at all these people dropping their coins in the temple treasury and I’m sure you have noticed some of the wealthy made large donations. At least they are hoping you’ve noticed. But I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more in the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth. That was no sacrifice at all. It was just surplus. But this woman gave out of her poverty,” Jesus continued as he placed his hand on Beatrice’s shoulder. “She gave all she had to live on. Her gift is more precious to God than all the others combined.”
Beatrice gently bowed and turned to leave. Jesus laughed to himself thinking about what she would find in her money pouch the next day. Oh how God loved blessing His children.
Dear Father, thank You for the many blessings You have given me. I know that I could never out give You! Help me to trust You more with my finances and give You more than I ever have before.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
I hope you have enjoyed my retelling of the story of the widow and her two small coins. It is easy to think of these stories as just stories. But this was a real woman, living in a real world of poverty. We don’t know her name, but I’ve given her one so you could better walk in her shoes.
Have you ever been in a situation like this widow? Have you ever given a sacrificial gift like she did?
Now here’s a tough one. Is God calling you to give more than you have been giving in the past? If so, what’s holding you back?
Culled from http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/girlfriends/September 15, 2017 at 9:56 am #38864
15th September, 2017
Good morning all. What’s the most precious gift you have received of the Lord? Today’s devotional has the answers.
Receive Forgiveness, Not Condemnation
If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. — 1 John 1:9
Every single day of our lives we need forgiveness. The Holy Spirit sets off the alarm in our spirits to recognize sin, and He gives us the power of the blood of Jesus to continuously cleanse us from sin and keep us in right standing with Him.
But if we are overcome with condemnation, we can be certain it is not from God. He sent Jesus to die for us—to pay the price for our sins. Jesus bore our sin and condemnation on the cross (see Isaiah 53).
When God breaks the yoke of sin from us, He removes the guilt too. He is faithful and just to forgive all our sins and to continually cleanse us from all unrighteousness (see 1 John 1:9).
The devil knows that condemnation and shame keep us from approaching God in prayer so we can receive forgiveness and enjoy intimate fellowship with Him.
Feeling bad about ourselves or believing that God is angry with us only separates us from His presence. He will never leave you, so don’t withdraw from Him because of condemnation. Receive His forgiveness and walk with Him.
Culled from https://www.joycemeyer.org/dailydevoSeptember 19, 2017 at 5:58 am #39039
19th September 2017
Good morning. It’s a tantalising Tuesday morning 😉 😉 And the devotional is here.
When God Seems Late
“Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Genesis 18:14 (NIV)
I rubbed my eyes and looked again, but the scene before me hadn’t changed.
I had just pulled into a fast food drive-thru and now realized the cause of the long line and delay. There was a man driving a tractor ordering at the speaker!
Those of us who’ve lived in rural areas know tractors on the road are a fact of life. However, just being “the norm” doesn’t make them any less irritating if you’re in a hurry. Recently, I was in a rush as I followed a tractor down a narrow two-lane road. Once my patience was stretched to its limit, I completely lost it and started yelling, “Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!” Amazingly, my impatience didn’t speed up the procession at all.
How many times have I approached God’s timing the same way? God rarely operates at a pace that pleases me, and I want Him to hurry, hurry, hurry! I’ve prayed impatient prayers for a job, for marriage, for children and even a greater understanding of His Word.
Just this week, I found myself reminding God that I’m about to have a significant birthday … as if He’d forgotten. There’s a dream in my heart that feels like it has an expiration date, so I was pleading with God to fulfill it quickly, before my bones are too creaky to do what I know He’s called me to do.
There was a woman in the Bible who also felt past her prime and had trouble with God’s timing. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, felt impatient just like I feel impatient. After waiting 10 years for the baby God had promised her (Genesis 12-21), Sarah decided to help God hurry. Surely 10 years was too long for anybody to wait, she likely reasoned.
So Sarah gave her maidservant Hagar to her husband, and the two of them had a child. Even our modern-day television dramas don’t hold a candle to what ensued! It turned out “helping” didn’t help, and the promise still wasn’t fulfilled.
Fourteen years later, Sarah and Abraham had a visitor who reminded them of God’s promise, causing Sarah to laugh out loud and say, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” (Genesis 18:12b, NIV)
Do you hear your disbelief and questions about God’s timing echoed in Sarah’s? I hear mine. Now, Lord? I thought this would happen years ago. Aren’t You just a little late?
God answered Sarah’s question in a way that answers ours, too. “Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son” (Genesis 18:14).
Less than a year later, Isaac, the child whom God had promised 25 years before, was born. God was not late. His timing was perfect. It was Sarah who had been in a hurry, but God called Isaac’s birthday “the appointed time.”
According to the dictionary, “appointed” means “predetermined; arranged; set.” Isaac’s birth came at the exact time God had planned all along!
God may seem like a tractor in the road, slowing down our dreams, but He knows the entirety of our story from beginning to end. He also knows how our story weaves into the lives of others. We may be tapping our watches, but He is never late. He may seem slow, but He’s always right on time. God Himself holds the appointed time in His hands.
Has God made a promise to you that seems delayed? Has He planted a dream in your heart that has not yet come to pass? You can see I’ve struggled with impatience too, but let’s stand together in confident hope! God is faithful, and we can rely on His perfect timing.
Dear God, sometimes I don’t understand Your timing. It’s hard to wait, but I trust You. I want to rely on Your ways, Your thoughts and Your perfect timing. Help me learn what I need to learn as I wait, and help me resist rushing Your plan. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 130:5, “I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (NIV)
Culled from http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/encouragement-for-today/encouragement-for-today-september-18-2017.html
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