October 9, 2017 at 10:13 am #40077
9th October, 2017
Hello!!! It’s a brand new week and I pray it turns out a great one for us all. Today’s devotional is here.
A Light in the Dark
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.
Friend to Friend
The last thing I planned to do that day was to leave my house. I had a mountain of writing I’d neglected and only a small window of time to complete it. I planned to hole up at home, ignore email and phone, and get the job done.
But then the phone rang. And I answered it. Which led to a spontaneous lunch with a friend who needed to talk. It wasn’t in my schedule, but I jumped in the car and headed out anyway. I knew what it feels like to need a last-minute listening ear.
But lunch took longer than I planned. Doesn’t it always? A sweet afternoon, no doubt about it. But worry over my waiting
responsibilities continued to nag me. So I jumped back in my car and pointed it straight toward home. No detours allowed.
Until my phone rang again. And I answered it. It was a work call I’d been waiting for. So I pulled into a coffee shop parking lot where I could talk business without distraction.
Nearly an hour later, I hung up. By now it was well into the late afternoon with my to-dos untouched. Thinking a chai tea latte might energize me; I backed out of my parking space and turned into the drive-through.
Only the drive-through was closed. In the middle of a weekday afternoon. Dear Lord, how was that possible? If I wanted my pick-me-up, I’d have to walk inside.
Once again I parked my car in the lot. Frustrated, I glanced at my watch as I walked inside.
That’s when I met Lindsey.
Lindsey is a beautiful barista. And when my frustrated self walked up to the crowded counter, she’s the one who greeted me with a smile.
“What can I get for you?” More hours in the day? “How about a grande chai tea latte?” “Sure thing.” As she pulled out a fresh cup, Lindsey let me know they were now customizing their standard chai. As a result, I could choose my desired sweetness.
In a rare moment of stranger transparency, I mentioned how happy I was about the customization option, because of the fact that multiple surgeries have taken away most of my taste. I can’t taste sweet, making added sugar pointless, I told her.
Lindsey paused, sucked in a breath, and whispered, “You’re not that woman who wrote that book, are you?”
My turn to pause, inhale. “What book?” “Undone?” I don’t think she could’ve said it any softer. “Actually, yes.” I smiled big. “So nice to meet you!” And that’s when tears filled her eyes. She went on to explain the week before, she’d heard me tell my story on a radio interview, an ordained moment and message God delivered on a day she desperately needed to hear it.
“That has nothing to do with me,” I smiled again. “That’s all Him. He loves you.”
She nodded in agreement. And then said my showing up in her coffee shop on this particular day was nothing short of a miracle.
If she only knew.
From the moment the day began, God orchestrated my seemingly errant details to interrupt my well-planned day. Instead of allowing me to hole up at home with my list of to-dos, He sent me out. To a beautiful barista named Lindsey.
A coincidence? No way.
Now, months later, I’m pretty sure all that divine orchestration was for me and not her.
You see, most days I feel a strong urge to hide. To buffer myself from the vulnerable life. There are moments when reality weighs heavy, and I feel overwhelmed with a world that’s gone mad.
You know what I mean, don’t you? The wars and economic woes and tragedies and diseases and accidents. Even beyond all the dramatic evidence of this broken world are the everyday challenges of simply trying to love and live. More often than I care to admit, I want to nestle into the protection of anonymity, hide in a shelter of my own making.
And yet, we weren’t given a light to hide it.
Our stories weren’t written for our own reading any more than the sun is for one person’s shining. We’ve been given stories—broken and beautiful stories—so a broken and beautiful world can see there is a God who’s written a story for them too.
Including baristas named Lindsey.
We’ve been sent, you and I. We’re message bearers, storytellers, light givers.
None of this can happen if we hide, content to keep our stories to ourselves. There is a great big world waiting to know there is a God who sees and loves them too. Will we leave safety in order to be sent?
The sending is hard, that is true. Both risk and rawness come when we allow God to push us out of hiding and into the light. It means sharing in the suffering of others. Opening yourself to rejection. Facing and feeling the brokenness of a world we once believed was nearly perfect.
And yet I shudder a bit when I think how close I came to staying home that day. How easy it would’ve been to keep the door locked, stay in my car, and refuse to walk inside those coffee shop doors, keep my lips shut about my story.
How close I came to missing out on God’s sweet gift through His sending. Because in offering Lindsey a glimpse of God’s love, I got a taste of it for myself too.
Dear Lord, as followers of Jesus, we know we are sent. Not on our own merits but on Your Son’s. Called to carry His name to a world filled with people waiting for a miracle. Ambassadors of the story of all stories to a world of Lindseys searching for it. Help us be a light in a darkened world.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
How do you hide from the world? Practice sharing the broken and beautiful parts of your story with a trusted friend or offer a smile and kind words to the next stranger you meet. And see where God takes your willingness from there.
Culled from http://girlfriendsingod.com/a-light-in-the-dark/October 10, 2017 at 11:59 am #40175
10th October, 2017
Good morning Today’s devotional is here.
Everyone Wants to Be Loved
“Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.” 1 John 4:11(NLT)
Everyone wants to be loved, to be liked, to be celebrated, to have someone who accepts us no matter what. We want to have people to turn to when a crisis hits. We want to have someone in whom we can safely confide our secrets. And there’s a reason for that.
We were made for connection.
We were made for intimacy.
When we experience intimacy, we can take on whatever life throws at us. Without it, even our greatest accomplishments ring hollow. After all, where’s the joy in success if we don’t have someone we love with whom to share it? That’s why I believe the pursuit of intimacy is the greatest, most worthwhile pursuit there is.
Granted, for most of us, pursuing intimacy is not as simple as adding more fiber to our diets. We have to work at it. But it’s worth it because deep down, we know being close to another human being matters like nothing else in the world. And being close to God? That takes things to a whole new level.
Maybe having an “intimate relationship with God” feels like one more obligation in an already-overwhelmed life. After all, intimacy is tricky enough to pull off with a real, live, flesh-and-blood person. How can we hope to have an intimate relationship with someone we can’t even see?
It’s not as hard as you might think — especially when you stop to consider what intimacy really is.
Intimacy isn’t built on grand, elaborate gestures. Rather, it’s made up of a thousand tiny, everyday moments of interaction. Every time we share an experience with someone, we build intimacy.
It’s asking your kids how their day went when they get home. It’s asking — and caring about — what your spouse wore to an event. It’s noticing a downcast face and offering a word of encouragement. It’s a private wink to a stressed-out colleague in a fractious meeting that says, “We’ve got this.”
A single note of music is an insignificant thing. But if you put enough of them together in the right way, you get Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Likewise, a single encounter may not amount to much, but if we share enough experiences with someone … that’s how we build intimacy.
And it’s what God’s Word urges us to do, as seen in today’s key verse: “Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other” (1 John 4:11).
Because God is always present, intimacy with Him is possible every moment of our lives. He’s already here. We just have to show up and spend time with Him.
When you need help, tell Him. When you are joyful, recognize His goodness behind the joy, and take time to praise Him. When you see beauty, recognize the hand of the Artist and thank Him.
Give it a try. You may just find that an ordinary day — such as today — can become the most intimate day with God you have ever spent.
But wait — there’s more.
If intimacy is a shared experience, then perhaps the ultimate example of an invitation to intimacy is the Incarnation — that mystical, miraculous moment when God chose to become more like us.
He could have loved us from a distance. But God wanted to do more than just love us. He wanted to be intimate with us. Through Jesus, God shared our loneliness, fatigue, anxiety and sorrow. He shared in our joy and our pain. He provided comfort in our despair at feeling forsaken.
The Incarnation tells us that the story of our world is the story of God’s hunger for intimacy. His pain over the loss of intimacy in the Fall, His determination to recapture it and His fierce joy at its redemption.
If that’s the case, then maybe we’re already closer to God than we think we are.
Maybe intimacy with God isn’t just something we can do, but something we can also receive.
And maybe, just maybe, we can rest in that for a while.
Lord, thank You that we were made for connection and intimacy with others and with You. We pray You help us grow closer to those who matter most in our lives. Thank You for loving us so deeply. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 John 4:12, “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” (NLT)
Culled from http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/encouragement-for-today/encouragement-for-today-october-10-2017.htmlOctober 13, 2017 at 12:38 pm #40349
13th October, 2017
Hello Today’s devotional is here and it might just touch one heart.
A Prayer for When You Feel Burdened
“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22 (NIV)
When we adopted our two daughters from Africa, we didn’t expect it would be easy. But we couldn’t have imagined how hard it would be.
Our family of five (my husband, our three boys and I) clearly heard God’s call. We knew our family was supposed to grow to seven. And as we looked at the picture of two little sisters standing in a dirt lot strewn with trash, our hearts confirmed these were our children.
The joy of bringing these precious girls to their forever home was overflowing … for about a week.
Then reality set in.
What we could not see from the initial picture, and what the orphanage couldn’t tell us, was the wounding that had happened in one of their hearts during her early years. The neglect and abuse caused deep gouges in her heart that wouldn’t be healed easily.
Our days were filled with challenges that took their toll on everyone. Days turned into years, and the issues we hoped would receive healing only got worse. Our house was like a tinder box, ready to explode at any minute. And it did. Often.
Multiple counselors and treatment centers didn’t seem to touch the underlying issues, and I began to feel hopeless. I couldn’t help my daughter, and I couldn’t seem to protect my family. Guilt overwhelmed my husband and me. Surely there was something we were doing wrong, or not doing right. And how could we manage the intense emotions?
It truly seemed too much to bear.
Before that, I’d never understood what it meant to get to the end of yourself. Life had been relatively easy, and problems seemed fixable. But at that point, I faced a situation beyond my abilities. I needed the Lord like I’d never needed Him before.
That’s when Scriptures like Psalm 55:22 took on a new meaning: “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
I had to give this situation to the Lord, or I would fall apart with the burden of it. My desperation took me to a new place of dependence. If the Lord didn’t sustain me, my heart felt like it would crumble to pieces, and I was afraid of how my body was reacting to the stress.
There was no lightning bolt moment, but bit by bit, I felt more peace. A big part of that peace came when the Lord showed me I’d done all He’d asked me to do. We weren’t to “fix” our daughter; that was His job. We were to be a part of her journey and show her God’s love as best as we could. That truth sustained me through the most difficult times.
Today if your burdens feel too much to bear, there is hope. Pour out your heart in prayer to our Heavenly Father — hold nothing back. And when you feel your burden lightening even the slightest bit, thank Him for His faithfulness. He’s been there all the time, just waiting to help.
Lord, thank You for being ever-present in my life. And thank You for the hard times. I might not have said that then, but I see now how faithful You were (and are) to meet my needs. Help me walk so closely with You that I never return to my independent self. I love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.October 16, 2017 at 10:36 am #40436
16th October, 2017
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Woke up to beautiful news today and it is “sweeting my belle” Today’s devotional is here.
God Can Deliver
David said, The Lord Who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Go, and the Lord be with you! — 1 Samuel 17:37
In times of crises, it’s easy to feel like God can’t deliver. To strengthen your faith, consider these biblical accounts of when God delivered His children from their afflictions. In 1 Samuel 17:37, David knew he could defeat Goliath because God had already saved him from a lion and a bear.
In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused the king’s edict to bow to his idol and continued to worship God. As a result, they were thrown into a fiery furnace heated seven times hotter than normal. But God delivered them so completely from this ordeal that they didn’t even smell like smoke! He even showed up with them in the fire!
Daniel serves as another example of God’s willingness and ability to deliver. Thrown into the lion’s den for praying to God, Daniel knew such deliverance that he came away from the ordeal unscathed while his enemies were completely defeated (see Daniel 6).
Do you notice a trend here? When God’s people step out in faith to do what they know He wants them to do, God responds and gives them victory. God can deliver His children from any circumstance. Know today that His power to deliver is bigger than your problem.
Culled from https://www.joycemeyer.org/dailydevoOctober 17, 2017 at 10:38 am #40509
17th October, 2017
Good morning all. Today’s devotional captures our “If only” moments. May God help our faith. Enjoy.
If Only, If Only, If Only…
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)
I chose her register not because her line was short, but because of her smile. The cashier’s beautiful skin and sparkling, dark-colored eyes only added to the light she was shining.
As I scooted my cart to her check-out lane, she said something sweet about my outfit. Soon, we were swapping “sweatpants stories” — the outfits we’re both most comfortable in — she in school and me working from home. Within seconds, our conversation took a turn, landing on the topic of confidence.
Suddenly, her bright eyes lost their twinkle, and in a bit of a whisper, she confided that she wished she’d been more confident a few years ago. Before the opportunity slipped away, I asked, “Did you go through a hard time when you were younger?”
This gorgeous young woman shared how she grew up where there hadn’t been many people who looked like she did. How she was told if only her skin were different, she would be pretty. But … it wasn’t. Then she hesitated, adding, “But I got over it.” She handed me my bags and receipt, and our interaction ended.
Heading to my car, I longed to continue our chat. I had so many questions. What happened in her heart during this confidence-crushing time? Did she really just get over it?
Because it will happen again. To all of us. Our confidence will be challenged repeatedly.
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you my confidence is challenged almost daily. Unlike the cashier, it’s not because I’ve been put down or slighted. No, my struggle comes from within. My heart- and mind-messages continually work against me: “If only” you had more experience. “If only” you were more gifted, more talented, etc.
“If only … ” These words, whether from others or from within ourselves, intensify when we attempt to make our move with God.
Is there a part of you that says me too? Each time you’ve attempted to step in a direction where you feel God’s calling you, your confidence was challenged. Do you have your own set of “if onlys”?
If only I hadn’t made that unwise choice as a teen …
If only I had gone to college …
If only I didn’t marry so young …
If only my marriage would have worked out …
If only I’d done a better job raising my kids …
If only I had gotten my temper under control …
If only I sought treatment …
If only, if only, if only …
And somewhere, in this breakdown, we began to believe we simply didn’t deserve to follow or have our God-instilled desires and dreams fulfilled. What do we do now?
God’s Word reminds us of what’s true. We move forward confidently in Christ, because we know God cares for us.
He sees us.
On days when I’m just going through the motions, dragging myself out of bed, into the perpetual rush of life, my weary self wonders: Do I even matter? Does anyone see me?
Jesus absolutely does, and His care can give us the confidence and strength we need to press forward. We have to impress this truth on our hearts: He cares for us.
Yes, life delivers harsh, painful blows, but we can change those “if-onlys” around.
If only my parents had stayed together, I wouldn’t have experienced that hurt, but now I share my testimony with children going through the same pain. If only we hadn’t moved, maybe I wouldn’t have felt so insecure. But now because we did move, in this new city I’m sharing Jesus with people here.
If only, if only, if only … but God!
Friend, the King of the Universe sees you and calls you worthy. As Matthew 10:29-31reminds us, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
You have what you need to reframe your “if onlys” and make the move God calls you to make. Let His word fill your confidence gap today.
Lord, I want to move forward. May Your truth that I am worthy empower me to do so. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 121:3, “He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.” (NASB)
Culled from http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/October 18, 2017 at 10:54 am #40548
18th October, 2017
Good morning. Today’s devotional is here.
I See You. You Matter.
“The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.” Acts 16:14b (NIV)
Twenty years ago, my life was a red-hot mess.
I attempted to numb childhood hurts and rejection with anything and everything — food, men, shopping, alcohol, drugs. You name it, I tried it. But nothing worked.
My wounds screamed falsehoods: I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough or thin enough. Soon the police were involved, threatening to take away my son. My life was a disaster, and I didn’t know what to do.
So in the midst of my mess, I called Carole, a regular customer at the restaurant where I worked. I didn’t know her well, but there was something different about her. While other customers looked for a refill of coffee, read newspapers, or focused on their own problems, Carole looked at me. Something in her eyes and smile said: I see you. You matter. You are not alone.
That day, Carole listened to my story and then spoke four simple words: “Cindy, you need Jesus.”
Since I’d tried everything the world had to offer and still felt empty inside, I figured I didn’t have anything to lose. On July 26, 1996, I invited Jesus Christ to take control of my life.
Everything changed for me at that moment, starting with Carole. She noticed this lost girl and introduced me to the One who opens His arms wide — no matter the size or scope of the mess.
Today, my life gives testament to the fact that no one is too far gone from God’s amazing grace. This former drug addict now leads a global ministry focused on telling girls about God’s amazing love.
But what if Carole had been too busy or distracted? What if she’d looked away?
The Apostle Paul also knew the power of seeing others — not just as who they were, but who they could be. Paul understood the transforming power of Jesus, which made him the perfect ambassador to share God’s love and light everywhere he went.
In Acts 16, as Paul passed through Macedonia, he took time to see Lydia and her friends sitting by the river.
Lydia was a successful business owner. But selling purple cloth didn’t fill the void as she searched for spiritual purpose and potential. All the money and connections couldn’t satisfy her deepest need for love and belonging.
That day on the riverbank, though, everything changed.
Three ambassadors of God sought His lost children. I bet Paul, Silas and Luke were gentle in their demeanor. I bet they smiled and made eye contact that said: I see you. You matter. You are not alone.
The Bible tells us the three men did not ignore the women sharing the scenic riverbank with them. (Acts 16:13)
Paul stopped. Sat. Shared. Unintimidated by the fact that not one single person for miles around believed in Jesus Christ. Not one.
Then there was a miracle on the fishy-smelling, breezy shore. One of God’s lost girls was found! “… The Lord opened [Lydia’s] heart to respond to Paul’s message” (Acts 16:14b). She listened, and her heart was opened to the Good News of Jesus.
Because Paul and his friends looked up from their lives and really saw Lydia, she was saved. In fact, she was the first European convert in all of history. Today, all over Europe, Lydia’s spiritual descendants praise the name of the One who notices every lost daughter and son.
What about you, friend? How often do you look up and really notice people God places in your life? How might you break out of your comfort zone and engage with someone?
Let’s remember: We might be the difference between someone being lost and being found.
Dear God, I acknowledge You as the God who sees me. You know me and understand me when no one else does. Forgive me for the times I’ve missed girls and boys, women and men, here, near and far who need Jesus. Give me Your eyes and heart to seek the lost and show them Jesus and His love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (NIV)
Culled from https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/proverbs-31-ministries/read/devotionals/encouragement-for-today-devotionals-for-women/i-see-you-you-matter-encouragement-for-today-october-18-2017-11781213.htmlOctober 19, 2017 at 9:53 am #40585
19th October, 2017
Good morning beautiful people. Today’s devotional is here.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)
The sound of my steps bounced off the walls as I moved from room to room. Though this place sat empty, my hopes and dreams seemed to saturate every corner.
This home would be my very first place with my husband, Luke. Just a few weeks before, two major life moments unfolded. First, my husband began his career in professional football. Second, Luke and I held hands and shared vows before God and each other.
So, with our dog and our dreams, we packed the trunk with wedding gifts and headed north.
The fall brought news of yet another change: We learned we’d be adding our first child to the family. By springtime, nursery prep was in full swing. After a long weekend of work, I plopped down in the rocking chair.
I envisioned raising my boy in this room. Oh, the stories we’d read and lullabies we would sing. The hugs and snuggles we’d share. I shut my eyes happy that night with a heart brimming with expectation.
If only I could press the pause button right there. But life doesn’t have a pause button, does it?
The next morning I opened my eyes to the news we’d be moving … effective immediately. Less than one year after our future felt so full, we packed all those expectations into boxes and sealed them with packing tape.
We scrambled to relocate and rebuild in a city on the other side of the country. But just as we hit our stride in this new city, we found ourselves facing the same reality again. A late-night phone call bore the news, You’re moving again … tomorrow.
Fourteen years, six teams and six kids later, it’s safe to say the road has been anything but predictable.
Those first years of football taught me how quickly a game can rise and fall. A score’s only exciting until a mistake positions the other team to tie the game. A mistake’s only disappointing until a score puts your team right back in the game.
At first, I watched Luke’s games on pins and needles. I soared with successes and fell apart at failures. Whether we won or lost, I left every game exhausted from the roller coaster ride of emotions I experienced.
I think life can be like a football game. Rises and falls, highs and lows, sometimes every day. In the midst of these uncertainties and surprises, we have two options. We can filter our view of God through our ever-changing circumstances, or we can filter our circumstances through the unchangeable character of Christ.
Today’s key verse reminds us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Our circumstances may rise and fall, but we don’t have to go with them. When we cling to the unchanging character of Christ, we can weather the winds of change.
I’ve started to watch games differently now. Sure, I celebrate the successes. But I don’t hang on the high points and assume it’s all smooth sailing from there. I also don’t dwell on the low moments. I might sigh. I might even scream. But I don’t let the low moments determine the next moment.
Let’s celebrate the highs in our lives, but not let them soften us to hard work and perseverance. Let’s learn from the low points, but not let them sour us to expectation and anticipation.
Most of all, let’s choose to fix our eyes on the One who never changes, the One who steadies our souls, no matter what we face.
Thank You, God, that You are sure. I can always count on You, because You will never change. Thank You for a safe place to fix my eyes when everything else seems unstable. Only You are my Rock and my Fortress. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.October 20, 2017 at 10:06 am #40633
20th October, 2017
Good morning It’s a bright and beautiful day and today’s devotional is here.
Increase Your Self-Acceptance
[And I pray] that the participation in and sharing of your faith may produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding and precise knowledge of every good [thing] that is ours in [our identification with] Christ Jesus [and unto His glory]. — Philemon 1:6
You may not think highly of yourself, but God wants you to know who you are in Christ and like yourself. Here are five practical tips to help increase your self-acceptance and your confidence of knowing who you are in Christ:
1. Never speak negatively about yourself. The communication of your faith is made effective by acknowledging every good thing in you through Christ Jesus, not by focusing on your weaknesses and flaws.
2. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Peter encountered this obstacle when he compared himself to another disciple. He asked, …Lord, what about this man? Jesus replied, If I want him to stay (survive, live) until I come, what is that to you? (John 21:21-22). We are not called to compare, only to comply.
3. Let God determine your worth. Remember, because of Jesus, you’ve already been accepted by Him.
4. Keep your flaws in perspective. It’s okay to see where you need to improve, but make sure you appreciate your progress.
5. Discover the true source of confidence. If you place your confidence in God, you can’t help but have a healthy attitude. Do your best, and leave the results to Him.
Culled from https://www.joycemeyer.org/dailydevoOctober 23, 2017 at 9:04 am #40735
23rd October, 2017
Good morning all. It’s another beautiful week to enjoy all of Jeovah’s blessings and I found the perfect Word to set off us on that awesome week.
God Has a Great Plan Just for You!
But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable [in itself alone] without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbor.— Galatians 6:4
We need to refrain from comparing ourselves to anyone else, because God doesn’t want us to be frustrated and feel unworthy of the blessings He desires to give us.
Comparing our lives with other people’s lives is unfair—to them and to us. It’s unfair to them because if we become jealous of what they have, what they know, how they look, etc., we start to resent them. Then we can no longer appreciate them as the wonderful people God made them to be.
It’s unfair to us because it limits God’s plan for our lives. Comparison says to God, “I want to limit Your work in my life to this and nothing else. I just want to be like this other person.”
But God has an individual plan for each of us. His plan for you is greater than you could possibly imagine. Stop looking at His plans for others so you can walk in the plans He has for you and receive the blessings they bring.
Culled from https://www.joycemeyer.org/dailydevoOctober 24, 2017 at 9:28 am #40778
24th October, 2017
Good morning. It’s a bright day and today’s devotional is here.
It’s Not About Me
Today’s Truth: “Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens” Psalms 148:13
Friend to Friend
Some of my Girlfriends in God are not going to like this devotion. I’m not even sure I do. But I’m going to put it out there anyhow. During the month of February, I write devotions on marriage. It is the month of love, and marriages certainly are in shambles all around the world. Each February, I am flooded with e-mails: some are appreciative for the reminders on how to love their husbands; some are filled with hurt because they are in their own struggling marriage, and some are broken-hearted because of shattered dreams. These women are so thankful for the balm of God’s truth in a very tender area of their lives.
But I also receive e-mails from women who are not married, who do not like the attention to marriage at all. They are flat out angry and frustrated because the devotions do not pertain to them. “Don’t you know that all of your readers are not married?”
“Oh honey child,” as my grandmother would say.
I’ve seen the same attitude in church. “I didn’t like that sermon.” “I didn’t like the singing today.” “I couldn’t relate to that teaching.” And on and on we go.
You know what I’ve discovered…it’s not about me. It is all about God. If the pastor is preaching on a topic that is not my struggle, I pray that God will open my eyes to new truths that I’ve never seen. If he is talking about losing a loved one, I pray for those who have lost a loved one recently…even though that might not be my struggle at that particular time. Is the teaching on raising young children? I have a grown son, so I pray for those who are raising the next generation.
One Sunday, I was singing in church. Barely singing, I might add. It was a dry old hymn and I just wasn’t into it. Then I looked at an older woman a few seats down and she had tears trickling down her wrinkled cheeks. She was moved to tears by that old hymn and was taken to the throne room of grace.
“Oh Father,” I prayed. “Please forgive me. This is not about me. It’s not about what I like or don’t like. It is all about You. Truth is truth. Worship is worship. Help my focus be on You and You alone. It’s not about me.
Here’s a truth I want you to underline, memorize and ponderize (I know that is not a real word, but it should be.) Say it out loud: As long as I think the world is all about me, the angrier and tired-er I will be. The more I realize it is all about God, the happier and freer I will be. (I know tireder is not a word either. I’m just feeling feisty today).
Listen to how David focused on God during worship:
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
So let’s commit to remember together…it’s not about me. It’s all about God.
Dear Lord, please forgive me when I make everything all about me. It’s all about You! I praise You! I thank You! I worship You!
In Jesus’ Name,
Culled from http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/girlfriends/October 25, 2017 at 10:08 am #40857
25th October, 2017
Good morning Happy hump day and the devotional is here.
A Prayer of Petition
Will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:7–8, ESV)
What’s the worst thing happening in your life right now?
It could be something personal and private, known only to you and perhaps one or two others. It could be relational tension in your marriage or between you and one of your children. It could be a season of major stress at work or school. It could be a health scare, a current threat on the world stage, or a particular worry about your kids or grandkids away at college.
It could be anything. The worst thing you can think of. And you do think of it—ten, twenty times throughout the day, if not all day. But how much longer have you been thinking about it than praying about it?
To not persist in prayer, then, boils down to a failure to understand the character of God. Because anyone who knows the Father’s heart, or what the Son has given, or who follows the guidance of the Holy Spirit will realize what’s available to us through the vehicle of prayer. His known character is proof enough.
God is just, bringing justice to His people. God is good, acting on our behalf. God is attentive, always hearing the persistent prayers of those who come to Him with clean hands and a pure heart. God is holy, faithful to work on those parts of us that keep us from experiencing freedom and hopeful confidence, even as He responds to our prayers with compassion, grace, and power.
Many lean on the crutch of addiction instead of trusting God’s heart for what they need. Some depend on a drug prescription to assuage what persistent prayer could resolve. Others continue nursing the wounds of their past because they don’t believe God is either willing or able to fill the emotional holes they feel they’ve been left to compensate for.
But even if you think you’re watching the worst-of-the-worst unfold—even if it looks like it’s as bad as it can get, with the hope of relief seeming to be an impossible dream—trust the heart of God to prove your fears and discouragements wrong. And to prove Himself just and strong.
Lord, You are good, and You are faithful. You are omnipotent and the fount of all wisdom. You are merciful and gracious, compassionate and kind. You are diametrically opposed to sin, yet tenderly inclined to lift up the worst of sinners. I come today worshiping and remembering who You are, who You’ve been, and who You will still prove to my heart that You are, as I trust and pray in the pure and holy name of Jesus, Amen.
Culled from http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/your-daily-prayer/a-prayer-of-petition-your-daily-prayer-october-25-2017.htmlOctober 26, 2017 at 9:41 am #40938
26th October, 2017
Good morning. How’s the day going for you. Wishing you the very best of the day in all your endeavours. What we need to do that is contained in today’s devotional.
Living with God’s Thoughts, Will and Emotions
Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members [and faculties] to sin as instruments (tools) of wickedness. But offer and yield yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and your bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness. — Romans 6:13
God created each of us with a spirit, a soul, and a body. As believers, we need to understand that the soul contains our mind, will and emotions. Since it is full of “self” and does not want to submit to the Holy Spirit, it must be purified.
Because we have a free will, our own minds tell us what we think, but our thoughts are not necessarily God’s thoughts.
Our wills dictate what we want, even if it conflicts with what He wants for us.
Our emotions determine our feelings, but in Christ, our hearts should only be subject to God and His Word.
God wants us to replace our thoughts, desires, and feelings with His. We cannot live in victory over sin until we do.
Start by telling God you want Him to have His way in your soul. In Romans 6, Paul urges us to “offer” ourselves to Him. Make a choice today not to use your soul for yourself, but to instead offer all of your “self” to God.
As the soul is purified, it is trained to carry God’s thoughts, desires and feelings, and then you will become a powerful outlet for His glory.
Culled from https://www.joycemeyer.org/dailydevoOctober 27, 2017 at 10:03 am #40991
27th October, 2017
Good morning all. It’s a beautiful day today And the devotional is here. Very apt for our current, me, myself and I world. Enjoy.
Me and My Selfie
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
When I was a teenager, I used my camera to take pictures of my family and friends. I never asked someone to take a picture of me all alone. It was always me with my friends, or me with my grey and white cat, Pokie.
For the most part, selfies didn’t exist then. Cameras were too large and awkward to hold steady while taking a photo of yourself.
How times have changed!
The word “selfie” was named by Oxford Dictionary as its Word of the Year in 2013. Defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website,” selfies have changed the way many people take photographs.
We aren’t aiming outward; we’re aiming inward.
The lens isn’t focused on others; it’s focused on us.
Google the phrase “how to take a great selfie,” and you’ll see more than 2.5 million results. Tips range from “use natural lighting” to “turn to the side a tiny bit.” One celebrity said she takes 500 selfies before finding one she likes enough to post. Another article said the average teen takes 12 minutes per selfie, from preparing the shot to editing it.
Is there anything wrong with taking selfies? It’s fine to snap a photo of yourself and post for friends, but if you’re obsessed with presenting the perfect picture, there is a problem. Or if you post selfies on social media all day long, there’s an issue.
Our key verse from Paul’s letter to the Philippian church instructs us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit” (Philippians 2:3a).
Pride is an enemy of the soul. A stream of carefully selected and edited selfies certainly feeds pride in our lives. Instead the Apostle Paul says to value other people above ourselves. We are to be more interested in viewing someone else’s posts and less interested in promoting our own.
What if your friend always edits her image to look perfect and it drives you crazy? Let’s remember Paul’s solution to the problem of selfishness: “Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3b).
When you are on social media, be courteous and kind in the comments and photos you post. Let others notice that as Christians, we work to promote and encourage others, not to exalt ourselves.
Instead of being judgmental, harsh or critical towards others, I want to extend grace. Give people the benefit of the doubt. We tend to expect a lot from others and think up excuses for ourselves. Please don’t misunderstand. Being humble doesn’t mean wallowing in dirt and thinking I’m not worthy of anyone’s approval. As my pastor puts it, “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.”
Maybe you don’t take very many selfies, but like me, you struggle with selfishness. Today instead of focusing on your own problems, take a moment to pray for someone else. The more we put the spotlight on others, the happier and more fulfilled we become.
Perhaps this week you can give your phone a rest from taking selfies. Go back to the earlier generation of taking pictures. Turn the lens outward to others and smile, not for a selfie, but toward your friends and family.
Lord Jesus, I’m sorry for being too focused on myself. I am selfish by nature. Help me value others and be affectionate to my friends and family. May I bear with others in love today. Teach me how to use my phone and social media for good to further Your will in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Galatians 5:26, “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (NIV)
Culled from https://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/encouragement-for-today/encouragement-for-today-october-27-2017.htmlOctober 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm #41098
30th October, 2017
Hello ladies and gentlemen. It’s a beautiful week and I know that God is at work, perfecting all that concerns us this week. I love love today’s devotional. No spoilers, I’m just going to let you enjoy it.
You Are a Fiercehearted Woman
“Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31:24 (CSB)
I didn’t know loving people would be so hard.
I silently say this to God in a coffee shop on an ordinary Tuesday morning. I’m sitting at a table with a scratched wood surface and above me folk music comes through the speakers. My latte is half-cold and my mood is threatening to become lukewarm, too.
Haven’t we all been there?
I think back to another moment in a coffee shop when I was around 30 years old, wide-eyed and naïve, full of dreams. This is the age where I was both tender and ambitious. I thought I could save the world and conveniently forgot someone already had.
I’m looking 40 in the face now, and I have a few more wrinkles around my eyes. A few more scars on my heart. I also have a wound still healing from recent words that cut like a sword all the way down to the bone.
For a long time I didn’t understand that broken people have sharp edges. And if we dare to love, to make a difference, to put ourselves out there, then inevitably we will sometimes end up startled and bleeding.
I wish someone had whispered this in my ear years ago, leaned right in and said, “Oh, yes, a lifetime with Jesus is going to be a wonderful adventure. There’s going to be joy and hope and beautiful relationships. But, listen, there’s something else you need to know: You’re not going on holiday, you’re going into battle.”
I imagine I wouldn’t have liked or understood this at the time.
I probably wouldn’t even have believed it, or I might have told the person they needed to be more positive.
But later when the arrows started flying, I would have suddenly thought, “Oh, yes, I’m glad someone warned me.”
Perhaps that’s why today I’m writing all this down … to remind myself and, in case you haven’t heard yet, to gently tell you, too: We need to know we’re in a battle, because otherwise we’ll become disillusioned and discouraged.
We’ll think we must be doing something wrong or even that God has tricked us. We’ll retreat when it’s time to advance. We’ll hide when it’s time to charge. We’ll be caught off-guard instead of guarding our hearts. We’ll even misunderstand who we’re fighting. It’s not ever other humans; it’s always the darkness itself.
I recently saw the movie Wonder Woman and in one scene, she crosses a space called “No Man’s Land.” She walks with her head held high. She deflects the gunfire on behalf of others. She does what no one else has been able to so far.
As I watched, tears came to my eyes because I know what this is like, how it feels. There is beauty in the battle. There is strength. There is victory. “Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD” (Psalm 31:24).
But it’s okay if sometimes we still need to whisper to Jesus, “This is harder than I thought it would be.” If that’s you today, then know you’re not alone. Also know feeling this way isn’t failure; it’s confirmation you are a warrior, mightier than you know, stronger than you’ve yet to see.
Love is a soft word in our culture. But in the Kingdom it’s a war cry.
And so we fight on — we serve and encourage and work and pray and change diapers and change the world. Because we are women of God, and this is what we do; this is who we are. We are a beautiful, fiercehearted force. We cannot be defeated.
Lord, You know how hard it is to live and love in this world sometimes, because You’ve been here, too. Thank You for Your compassion toward us and Your promise to bring us through whatever we may face. Through You, we have strength, grace and victory. I pray You will empower me to keep fighting today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Romans 8:37-39, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (CSB)
1 Corinthians 15:57, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (CSB)
Culled from https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/November 2, 2017 at 9:36 am #41283
2nd November, 2017
Good morning. Welcome to a brand new month. May all of our blessings find us this month and may our paths drip with fatness. Enjoy today’s devotional. I listened to mine and it was just awesome, as it entered a new part of me.
A Prayer to Magnify the Lord
“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!” – Psalm 34:3, ESV
Over and over in Scripture, when people came to a critical juncture in their lives, they got a fresh view of God. Moses got it. Elijah got it. Abraham, Isaiah, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, got it. And guess what? You’ve got to get it too.
Your Heavenly Father may be saying to you right now, “All right. Let’s get back to who I am.” Pulling over brings perspective.
That’s why the psalmist says, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me!” It’s not that we need to make God bigger than He is. We need to see God for His actual greatness. We need to see our problems in proportion to the majesty of Almighty God. Small God? Big problems. Big God? Small problems.
“Greatness” and “majesty” are good words to describe God, but an even better word is “transcendence.” The word transcendence means surpassing, beyond, above in excellence, in splendor, in majesty, in attribute, in beauty. Beyond all else. Beyond compare. It’s what you feel on a mountaintop, looking out over a valley or an ocean. It’s what you feel standing on the edge of a volcano at sunrise.
You need a fresh view of the greatness of God, or you’re not going to have the strength for what’s to come. Let God take you apart. See His majesty. Hear His Word.
Holy God, I agree with the psalmist who wrote, “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised” (Psalm 48)! Thank You for lovingly pulling me over to give me a renewed view of Yourself. I confess that I am tempted to see my problems as big and You as small. But You are a good Father who knows how to give good gifts to Your children, so give me a fresh glimpse of Your transcendence today, I pray. In the matchless name of Jesus, Amen.
Culled from https://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/your-daily-prayer/a-prayer-to-magnify-the-lord-your-daily-prayer-july-28-2016.html
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