December 6, 2017 at 8:55 am #42781
6th December, 2017
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. It’s such a beautiful day already and the devotional is here.
Knowing About God is Not Enough
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life(John 5:39-40).
Friend to Friend
Studying God’s Word has been one of my greatest joys since the day I became a Christian as a teenager. But sometimes I can get so wrapped up in studying aboutGod, that I forget my relationship with God.
I read the Bible, pour through commentaries, and decipher Greek and Hebrew words. However, on many occasions, I have allowed my determined mind that wants to know more about God to override my soul’s deepest longing to simply know God. All my studying will be stillbirth if I do not move the words from my head to my heart to deepen my relationship with Jesus. If the words do not move me to worship and relationship, then I’ve missed the point.
All through history there have been men and women who have had an abundance of knowledge about God but have had little to no manifestation of God’s presence or power in their lives. Week after week people fill churches to hear well-delivered sermons, only to leave with the glory ache still eating away at their hearts. There is a yearning within our breasts which scholarly teaching simply cannot satisfy.
We can have a right opinion about God. We can agree that He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient and still not be in right relationship with Him. Satan is proof of that. He knows exactly who God is and what He can do (James 2:19).
Knowledge about someone will never satisfy the longing to know someone personally. That doesn’t mean that we don’t study the Bible. But it does mean that we don’t stockpile knowledge and miss the intimate relationship Jesus died to make possible. His Word is a means by which He speaks to us in relationship. God’s Word is not a substitute for the relationship itself.
Jesus warned the religious scholars of his day: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-40). Could Jesus be saying the same to me and to you? Have we been filing in the blanks of our well-laid-out Bible study books and neglecting to fill in the blanks of our empty hearts with Him?
We can possess volumes of Bible study knowledge, but if the words do not bring us into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Christ, it becomes of no consequence to us. God’s word may convince us to try harder to be more moral, but head knowledge alone will not transform our lives. It isto the heart that God first speaks, and it is with the heart that our love relationship grows.
Here is what God is whispering to you today: “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me” (Song of Songs 2:10)
Lord, today I am praying the words of Paul to the Ephesians. I pray that I will be rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for me, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Our prayer for today is taken from Ephesians 3:17-19. I encourage you to open your Bible and read the entire chapter.
Culled from https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/girlfriends/December 11, 2017 at 8:27 am #42977
11th December, 2017
Hello ladies and gentlemen. How are you all doing? It’s a brand new week and slowly but surely, Christmas is coming closer, so is the end of the year 2017. That knowledge brings alot of thoughts to my own mind. If thoughts come to mind too, then today’s devotional can help.
Wrong choices cause regret, and when we experience regret we need to deal with it and let it teach us how to make better choices in the future.
I understand firsthand that wrong choices lead to regret. I remember a time several years ago when I looked at myself and saw a noticeable difference between my husband, Dave, and me, because he has exercised all his life and is healthy, strong and in good physical shape.
Initially, I merely regretted that I wasn’t as strong as Dave, but then I realized I could do something about it. I now exercise regularly and have been amazed by the positive difference it has made.
The Bible says that with God, you are a new creation. You don’t have to live in your old ways, but you can now make new, better choices empowered by the Holy Spirit. If you find yourself regretting some of the unwise choices you have made in the past, don’t be deceived into thinking it is too late to do anything about it. Just start doing what’s right and then stick with it.
As you start making better choices, you will come to experience a life of enjoying God’s blessings every day.
Culled from https://www.joycemeyer.org/dailydevoDecember 13, 2017 at 9:11 am #43106
13th December, 2017
Hello ladies and gentlemen. Today’s devotional is here and it is all about enjoying the moments we have.
Don’t Miss the Beautiful
Friend to Friend
A few years ago I was invited to speak and sing in Tennessee at a women’s event. To my delight, my daughter Kennedy was able to join me. The two of us are all about “mommy-daughter time” so we were all smiles as we started off on the three and a half hour drive.
Prior to the trip, I had given Kennedy permission to use my iPad to watch a movie. So once we hit the highway, she got cozy with her pillow, her headphones went on, and her attention became fixed on the rectangular screen in front of her. Random giggles floated from my little movie-watcher as I drove and prayed for the event we were heading to.
It was the first week of November, and in the Tar Heel state that’s primetime for fall tree color. Once we past the congested traffic and the hullaballoo of the suburbs, the splendor of God gripped me. Showcased through traces of red, yellow, orange, and brown, the leaves danced in the breeze under the backdrop of a brilliant blue Carolina sky. The trees continued to boast of more and more glory as I neared Virginia… and then the mountains joined in.
Oh, the mountains!
They puffed their chests with the majesty of color and power!
My heart was captured by the glory of it all.
And then I realized that Kennedy was missing it. Ugh!
I tapped her on the shoulder and pointed out the window. “Look around! Lift your eyes and soak in the wonder, sweetie! Don’t miss the beautiful…” I urged.
“Don’t miss the beautiful!”
She paused her movie and joined in on the beauty moment, totally agreeing that God was showing off with His fall art. Minutes later, she went back to watching her movie as I drove on undone. Wrung out by glory. Overwhelmed by the sacred sanctuary I’d stumbled upon. I stayed in the moment and celebrated the beautiful as the psalmist did in Psalm 96:
1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
Worship poured from my heart. Splendor and majesty were before both Him and me. I thanked God for the beauty show. And as praise and adoration continued to rise, a God-thought settled on my heart. Tell them, Gwen.
“Tell them what, Lord?” I wondered.
Tell the women what you told Kennedy. Tell them not to miss the beautiful.
Ahhhh, yes! I would tell them, and I would chew on that challenge for days to come. Convicted by questions like: How often do I drive right through the busyness of my days and miss the beautiful? How many moments of glory do I not even see because my eyes are on the mundane? Do I even look for it?
As we head into this busy holiday season and dance between the days of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years – as we decorate the doors and the hearths of our homes and communities, let’s be intentional to decorate the doors and the hearths of our hearts with ribbons of God’s grace.
Let’s live with eyes lifted to the Gift of gifts, Jesus Christ.
When we face the stresses of our lists, and our tasks, and our activities, and our heart burdens, let’s commit to remembering that the best present is His presence. He’s our Hope, our Peace, our Joy… our Beautiful.
Don’t miss the beautiful.
Dear Lord, You are glorious and worthy of all praise! Please help me to fix my eyes on You each day so I can walk in your hope, peace, joy, and beauty.
In Jesus’ Name,
Culled from https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/girlfriends/December 14, 2017 at 11:00 am #43173
14th December, 2017
Good morning God’s favourite people. How’s your day going? Today’s devotional is here.
When we let God take our messes and turn them into miracles, the Father has the ability to use our mistakes for our good if we will only trust Him.
Isaiah 61:3 says He will give us “beauty instead of ashes,” but I find that many people want to hold on to their ashes, the cinders of the past, as reminders of their shortcomings and failures. I encourage you to let go of your ashes and reach for something new.
Too many people live in the past, feeling like they’ll never have another chance. Do you need a second chance? Ask God for a second chance or a third, fourth or fifth—whatever you need. God is full of mercy and long-suffering. His loving-kindness never fails or comes to an end.
The Bible says that He has removed your transgressions from you, so you don’t have to hang on to them anymore.
Jesus came to lift burdens, but you must be willing to let them go and believe He is greater than your mistakes. Give Him your ashes today.
Culled from https://joycemeyer.org/dailydevoDecember 18, 2017 at 11:16 am #43264
18th December, 2017
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. It’s been a great day thus far. Hope your week is off to a great start. Today’s devotional is here.
When You Can’t Afford Christmas
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”James 1:17a (ESV)
Several months ago, I sat down with my older children to warn them this Christmas would have to be a little different. I knew it wasn’t going to be surprising news, but their responses blessed my heart.
When there’s more month than money in the checking account, life is stressful enough. But when December rolls around, and holiday gift shopping takes center stage, the unwelcome gifts of stress and anxiety can stack up in our hearts and minds.
This year instead of asking my children what they wanted for Christmas, I broke the news that the quantity of gifts would pale in comparison to years past. Instead of my usual mantra of “I shouldn’t” spend too much money on Christmas, I found myself saying “I literally can’t.” But rather than appearing upset their eyes lit up with love. They were understanding and compassionate, with each one firmly claiming they really didn’t need anything anyway.
Although they surely felt a secret twinge of disappointment, they understand I’m now a single mom who just can’t do Christmas the way we used to. Their hearts echoed mine in believing that quality time, traditions and togetherness far outweighed the importance of tangible store-bought gifts. And their gifts of compassion, support and unconditional love were more priceless to me than anything they could have purchased from a store.
Gifts from the heart are the most important gifts we can give during this season, but all too often we forget that truth in the midst of all the holiday commercialization. We cave into the pressure of buying more and more, even if it means piling up debt. But if we change our perspective about gift-giving, our holiday can change, too.
In the beginning of James 1, James, the brother of Jesus, encourages God’s people to pursue a life pleasing to Him. He encourages them not to be tempted by sin or discontentment, but to focus on the Giver of all their blessings. He then says in today’s key verse, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,” (James 1:17a). This is intended to pull our attention away from the gifts the world views as valuable and draw our attention to the priceless gifts we receive from heaven, which only the Father can give.
According to the words James penned, gifts from God are “good,” meaning morally excellent, of great benefit and never losing value; and “perfect,” meaning complete and without flaw. No earthly gifts can compare to this standard. James references gifts like salvation, grace, compassion, love, provision, peace, mercy and eternal life. Gifts like His unwavering presence, His time, His listening ear and His unconditional love. These are gifts that positively impact us every single day.
These intangible gifts — which enrich our lives in heart, soul and spirit — are the best gifts we can give to those important people in our lives. They’re rarely forgotten and hopefully never taken for granted.
My kids likely don’t remember what gifts I bought them last Christmas or the ones prior — despite all the time, love and money I put into shopping for those gifts. Honestly, I don’t even remember them myself. But what we do remember is all the times spent together, traditions we shared, the love we felt and the memories we made.
I can’t really afford Christmas this year, and maybe you can’t either. And sweet friend, that’s OK. Tangible gifts don’t make Christmas great — love does. And we can always afford to spend quality time with the most important people in our lives, creating memories and experiences, making them feel more loved and treasured than any store-bought gift ever could.
When we focus on the good and perfect gifts God has given us and share them with others, it won’t matter how many gifts are under the tree.
Dear Lord, help me not to feel guilty if I can’t afford a lot of gifts for those I love. Enable me to remember it’s the intangible gifts I give that my children, family and friends will most remember and value. Help us focus on the birth of Christ, the best Gift we will ever receive. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 9:6, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (NLT)
Culled from https://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/encouragement-for-today/encouragement-for-today-december-18-2017.htmlDecember 19, 2017 at 10:22 am #43295
19th December, 2017
Good morning all. It’s another day and another opportunity to live for Jesus. Today’s devotional is here, another reminder of the reason, we are celebrating at all.
The Heart of Christmas
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (John 3:16, NIV).
Friend to Friend
It is the Christmas season – my favorite time of the year! I know many of you are still looking for the perfect gift, wrapping presents, baking your famous sugar cookies, packing the car for a long trip, and wrestling with overly excited children. Ho! Ho! Ho!
Stop right where you are! Take a deep breath and travel back with me to a time when there was no hope and no celebration. I can’t imagine a world without Jesus and yet, many times I live my life as if He doesn’t even exist. A trial comes and I try to handle it on my own. Loneliness floods my heart and instead of reaching out to Him, I withdraw into the darkness.
He then interrupts my life and fills each black corner with Light. His love flows over the pain like a soothing balm and once again, I experience the manger. Once again, He steps into the smelly, unlikely and very ordinary existence that is mine to change everything – everything! He could have come to us in many ways but He chose to interrupt the very ordinary with the most extraordinary. He could have chosen to be born in a palace. After all, He was a King. Yet His life on earth began in a manger housed in what amounted to little more than a dirty, smelly barn. The simplicity of His birth is one of His most precious gifts to me. It is also one of my most profound life lessons.
I often wish I had been there that holy night when Jesus was born, but then He reminds me I have my own manger; my own holy moment when God became a reality to me, and I worship Him!
Every year I am reminded of the very heart of Christmas — Emanuel, God with us. God wants to be involved in the simple, ordinary happenings of daily life: where we go and what we do, the smile we give the harried stranger and the patience we wear in the crowd of impatient shoppers, the love that prompts the secret gift and the heart that constantly celebrates His birth through every sparkling light, every beautifully wrapped gift, each special meal, every card, phone call and visit.
Join me in this quest to celebrate Him and His birth in everything we do. Have a birthday party for Jesus. Bake Him a huge cake and invite neighbors to join in the celebration. Adopt a family in need. Reach out to the lonely. Look for Him in the crowd. Emanuel, God with us! Wow!
I pray that your life is filled with God’s peace this Christmas. Don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy. Guard your heart and mind and keep your focus on the birth of Jesus as you begin to prepare for the Christmas holidays. No matter what your circumstances may be, you can celebrate the Christmas holidays because God is with you!
Father, today I celebrate the reality of Your presence in my life. I celebrate Your birth, Your life, Your death and Your resurrection. And as I celebrate, Lord, help me to be “God with skin on” to those in need around me. Open my eyes and let me see them as You see them! I love You. Happy Birthday, Jesus!
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Put your faith in action by making a step-by-step plan to keep Jesus at the heart of your Christmas season. Give a gift to someone you don’t know. Invite a needy family into your home for a special “Friends” dinner. Go through your closet and give the clothes you don’t wear to those who have no clothes.
Culled from https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/girlfriends/December 20, 2017 at 8:02 am #43355
20th December, 2017
Hello all. It’s a great day and here’s the devotional for today.
Building a Confidence that Won’t Fail
“But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.’” Luke 1:30-31 (NIV)
The tears just wouldn’t quit falling as I sat in the empty room.
Only days before, this space had been filled with stockings, a soaring Christmas tree and family and friends surrounding us. Now, only two days later, the room was desolate. The only thing was my crying family and me.
My husband had learned his company was going to relocate us.
And although it was a good career move for him, it really didn’t feel like any advancement for me, moving 1,000 miles from my community of friends, with two little children and one more on the way.
I was wrestling to not make it all about me, but this move was not according to my plan. As I hugged my little ones close, I thought, How can I do this … while I’m pregnant?
There was no time to figure that out.
Now the moving truck was pulling out of the driveway, and it was time to load up the little ones and head south. God had given us an assignment and it was our turn to follow His lead, with all of my doubts in tow.
I’m certainly not the first to have received an assignment that felt greater than the confidence I had.
Just look at Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Her change of plans was much greater than a cross-country move.
Picture Mary, engaged to a great guy. Wedding plans in motion. Then, her dreams are interrupted, as we see in our key verse: “But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.’” (Luke 1:30-31)
When Mary received this news, she didn’t react in fear or doubt. Instead her reaction was grounded in faith: “‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’” (Luke 1:38a, NIV)
Mary responded with confidence because her confidence began with a relationship with God. Instead of building her confidence on something she could lose or have taken, she built her confidence on Him.
Not on something, like her reputation. That was outside her control.
Not on someone, like Joseph. For all she knew, he would leave her once he learned she was pregnant.
Not on some place, like her home, as I had done. After hearing from the angel, Mary actually left town, where she would have been comfortable, to visit her cousin Elizabeth.
Did Mary understand everything God was doing? Unlikely. Or resent what He was doing? Doesn’t appear so.
Would others judge her? No doubt they would, but Mary didn’t allow people’s opinions to prevent her from embracing God’s calling, even if she didn’t completely understand it. The lack of details didn’t impact her confidence in His plans for her life, nor her trust in Him to take care of her.
There have been so many times in my life when my confidence has been shaken. As a mom, when my kids made mistakes, as a professional when my work was rejected and yes, when I moved 1,000 miles away … in each of these situations, the foundation of my confidence has been rattled.
Yet as I grow in my faith, I’m desperately trying to follow Mary’s lead. I’m learning that confidence built on people or positions is a confidence built on unsolid ground. Someone, something or some place will let us all down at some point. When we build our confidence on Christ, by spending time in His Word, when difficult times come, our foundation will be firm in Him.
The Lord used that move so many years ago, faithfully bringing me to a place where my gifts would grow. I should have known, as although it was far from easy, just like He was to Mary, the Lord isalways faithful.
Dear Jesus, it’s easier to build my confidence on what I can see and what I know. Help me build my confidence on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Hebrews 10:35-36, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (NIV)
Culled from https://proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2017/12/19/building-a-confidence-that-wont-failDecember 21, 2017 at 7:54 am #43386
21st December, 2017
Good morning all. Here’s today’s devotional.
But above all [things], my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath; but let your yes be [a simple] yes, and your no be [a simple] no, so that you may not sin and fall under condemnation. — James 5:12
Indecision is a miserable state to be in and certainly is not a fruit of the simple life. The apostle James said the double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Being indecisive because you’re afraid you’ll make wrong decisions will get you nowhere. How much time do you think we waste when we can’t make up our minds?
We often labor over the choices before us when we just need to make a decision and let it stand. This may be a simple example, but think about it: When you stand in front of your closet in the morning looking at all your clothes, just choose something and put it on. Don’t go back and forth until you make yourself late for work!
Let me encourage you to start making decisions without second-guessing yourself or worrying about the choices you make. Don’t be double-minded or wishy-washy because doubting your decisions after you make them will steal the enjoyment from everything you do. Make the best decisions you can and trust God with the results.
Culled from https://joycemeyer.org/dailydevoDecember 22, 2017 at 10:34 am #43461
22nd December, 2017
Good morning. We are in this season of joy and good cheer, however, not everyone is in such festive mood. We know that’s a reality for even some of our members, and even non-TTC folks which is why, it is comforting to know that even as we are, we can take our place this season. We can ask and receive healing for our mind, body and soul. This devotional provides more answers.
A Prayer for Healing this Christmas Season
“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them, he rescued them from the grave.” Psalm 107:19-20
The Christmas season is always the time of year filled with so much joy and hope, a spirit of giving, and celebrations with family and friends. Yet that may also be the very reason why those suffering deep heartache, loss, illness, or struggle during this season, may feel the weight of their burdens even more deeply. Maybe many feel alone. Or forgotten. Maybe some wonder why God isn’t answering their prayers, or why his answers seem so long in coming. If you find yourself there right now, or are praying for a loved one through a difficult time, take heart in this word from Psalms:
“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them, he rescued them from the grave.” Psalm 107:19-20.
- We have a place we can go to. We can cry out to God and be assured He does hear. And He cares.
- God saves. He did then, and He does still.
- He sent forth his word and healed them. And God never changes.
- He rescued them. And He rescues us today.
Through Christ alone, we can find true healing – from physical illness and pain, from past wounds and difficult memories, from the heartache of deep loss, from addiction, despair, and even in the relationships that have been broken.
God already know of the wounds we’ve carried. He knows the pain we’ve felt. He knows how much we’ve tried to let go, and fix things in our own power. Let’s set aside our fears and move towards Him today, in faith.
For He is able.
He is powerful.
You already know the pain we’ve carried, the deep wounds, the feelings of loss and heartache. You know how we’ve so often lost hope. Wondering if we’ll ever be truly free from this burden. It feels too great some days. We desperately need your healing and grace. We need your peace and our hope restored. We need to be reminded that you work on behalf of those you love, constantly, powerfully, and completely. Forgive us for trying to fix our situations all on our own. Forgive us for running different directions and spinning our wheels to find help, when true help and healing must be found first in You. Forgive us for forgetting how much we need you, above everyone and everything else. We come to you and bring you the places we are hurting. You see where no one else can fully see or understand. You know all the places where we need to be set free, even those we’re not aware of. We ask for your healing and grace to cover every broken place. Every wound. Every heartache. Thank you that you are able to do far more than we could ever imagine. Thank you for your mighty power that acts on behalf of your children. We reach out to you, and know that you are restoring and redeeming every place of difficulty, every battle, for your greater glory. Thank you that you will never waste our pain and suffering. We love you. We need you today.
Culled from https://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/your-daily-prayer/your-daily-prayer-december-22-2017.htmlDecember 27, 2017 at 9:48 am #43544
27th December, 2017.
Compliments of the season to you all. Hope you had a merry Christmas . When I opened today’s devotional, I went, “aaaaaah” with a huge smile on my face, because the opening verse is my personal word for next year, 2018. So, whenever I come across it, I’m reminded of His promise and I’m at peace. Today’s devotional is one of those reassuring piece. It gives hope in the midst of hopelessness. Stay blessed ladies, God’s got you.
Beauty in the Struggle
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2 (ESV)
All of us go through things that “break” us.
The break might be a small chip or crack, or more like something shattering into a million pieces. And then we struggle to glue the pieces back together. Some wounds are so deep only Christ can bring the healing and forgiveness we need to move on. But when we invite Him into our pain, He not only has the ability to heal us, He can also use us in extraordinary ways.
When someone asks about a hard time in our lives, most of us take a second and go back to that moment. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, and other times it can be absolutely heartbreaking. A lot of us don’t want to go there, so it can be hard to let others peer into that part of our lives. Even when you’re just getting started in life — like I am. What we often don’t recognize, though, is the beauty in the midst of our trials.
How can there be beauty in the struggle?
In our key verse, the Lord reminds Isaiah “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Isaiah 43:2).
No matter what has happened in our lives, we can be comforted that God is there. When reading this verse, I imagine walking through the roughest times in my life but feeling the most amazing peace and comfort. I think that’s what God wants us to be reminded of. This world is full of hardship, but we can be comforted in knowing that He knows our hearts more than anyone, even ourselves. He hears our cries and wants us to run to Him.
In the hard times it can be difficult to see what good could come from our “mess,” so I want to share three ways God can shine beauty through our struggle.
We lean in. It’s in our desperation — the hardships, pain and trials we face — that we cling to God most tightly. When I was growing up in the church, I was always told, “listen to the still small voice” — meaning the voice of God. He wants us to lean in and listen. I remember that sticking with me. God is gentle with His children, and He never forces us to spend time with Him. Much like any relationship we have with our siblings, children or parents, our relationship with Him is a two-way street. He beckons us into His presence. And not just to list off all of our prayers for the day. He invites us to take a breath and say, “Dear God, You know my heart, and all I ask is for rest. I need Your comfort right now.”
We grow in wisdom. Growth is never comfortable. It stretches us in ways we may not enjoy, but it molds us into who God is making us. No matter how old we are, we all have opportunities to grow in wisdom. When I’m discouraged by the struggle, I remember the process is beautiful … because I’m learning how to be more like my heavenly Father.
We help ourselves help others. I used to think I was alone in many of my struggles. Once I became aware that others were in the same boat, my whole perspective changed. Our pain can be our platform to relate to anyone. Everyone longs to be understood. It feels good to have someone who’s been there and isn’t afraid to admit it. There is beauty in being vulnerable with your pain or struggle.
When looking at so many examples in Scripture, I cannot help but look at the whole picture of the Bible. It’s truly one beautiful story made up of many ordinary people like you and me. But the best part of all is that Jesus walked with those people in the midst of their struggles, which means He will for us, too! Whatever it may be. He’s there. He’s listening, and He wants to fight for us. All He asks for us to do is rest in Him.
Dear Jesus, give me the strength today to endure all that is in front of me. Help me believe You are with me in the highs and lows of life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 4:16, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (ESV)
Culled from https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/December 27, 2017 at 2:54 pm #43565December 27, 2017 at 5:17 pm #43579December 28, 2017 at 10:05 am #43592
28th December, 2017
Good morning. Slowly but surely, 2017 is coming to an end and the Word in these last days are just pure treasure. Today’s devotional is below.
The Weight of the Wait
“Lord, you have been our home since the beginning.” Psalm 90:1 (NCV)
Shuffling through my small Kentucky kitchen, I flipped the calendar page. I turned to October 2008 — new month of the year, same cry of my heart.
Time was younger then, and so were we. We’d moved a lot, and while I believe those years of wandering were part of God’s plan, I longed to feel at home … somewhere. We’d had happy times; there wasn’t an absence of joy. But my heart craved home.
That October day, we had a house for sale in one state while living in another. Life was less than settled, and I was less than patient. Weary and spent, I lifted the calendar page to expose a new month — more time that wouldn’t cooperate with the longing of my heart.
And there, in that modest rental kitchen, God met me.
The words hidden beneath a fresh autumn month read, “Lord, you have been our home since the beginning. Psalm 90:1.”
With the casual turning of a page, I felt God whisper, “Psst, I know. It matters to Me. I’ve got this. But hey, by the way — what you long for, you already have. You’ve had it since the beginning. I am your Home.”
I never needed anything else. My security, comfort and contentment were in Him. The Home my heart craved from the beginning.
As He spoke shelter over me that morning, the wait began to feel more like an invitation than a burden.
Of course, there’s always a pesky human element to waiting that can feel heavy at times. But He’s been teaching me over the years that what my heart longs for can’t be satisfied by what my life longs for. The temporal can’t pacify the eternal.
And please know, I am not an honour student in this course. In fact, I seem to be enrolled in the perpetual refresher class, as it’s a lesson I’m forever learning. Even now, many years after being graciously settled in a place we adore, I still yearn for a version of home yet unknown. Country roads. Split-rail fences. Fresh air. Open space.
What about you, friend? Are you in an interim season that feels heavy right now? Have you, too, ever found yourself forfeiting the invitation to abide while stalled in the seclusion of the wait?
We’re so prone to searching for home in containers not made to carry its calling — whether in place or people, title or position, acceptance or belonging — we instinctively seek to satisfy its heaviness by human means.
Oh, to surrender instead to eternal means — for He longs to satisfy the wait with Himself.
Dear God, please give us a heart for the now, not the next. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Timothy 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (NIV)
Psalm 23:1, “The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.” (NLT)
Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (NIV)January 3, 2018 at 8:32 am #43801
3rd January, 2018
Good morning and happy new year to you all. This year, I pray we will not walk only by sight but by every word of God for this season of our lives. Today’s devotional is here.
Don’t Have an Exaggerated Opinion of Yourself
Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]. — Matthew 7:1
The Bible repeatedly warns us against pride. And I cannot emphasize enough the danger of pride. See, when we give in to pride, we give the enemy a place of great influence over us.
When we think too highly of ourselves, it causes us to value others less, forget to trust God, and ignore the truth that we’re really nothing without God.
This type of attitude or thinking is detestable to the Lord. We must have a holy fear of pride and remember that we’re special and valuable because God loves us and has forgiven us, not because we can accomplish great things on our own.
It’s important to understand that whenever we excel in any area, it is only because God has given us the gift of grace to do it. The moment we think we’ve accomplished great things in our own strength, we’re getting into pride.
Remember, we belong to God. Instead of having exaggerated opinions of ourselves, let’s focus on God’s greatness and His love for us. It’s by His grace alone that we can succeed in doing whatever He’s calling us to do.
Culled from https://www.joycemeyer.org/dailydevoJanuary 4, 2018 at 11:26 am #43845
4th January, 2018
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Some people are still staying true to their new year resolutions and may be wondering how to improve their relationship with God. Today’ devotional has some answers.
How Can I Grow Closer to God?
“Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’” Luke 9:23 (NIV)
I would love to tell you that I have a long and impressive list of goals for 2018. But I’m not really into writing out my goals for the new year. Honestly, I just want to follow hard after the Lord every day and let Him renew me and shape me into the woman I need to be this year.
I want to grow ever closer to God — pressing into Him so He makes the deepest impression on me.
So that’s my goal. Maybe it’s one of your goals too. Growing closer to God.
But how do we do that? How can we position ourselves to grow closer to God this year?
In Luke 9:23b, Jesus tells His disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
His words seem surprising at first. The disciples had already given up everything to follow Jesus. Or so it seemed …
Family. Friends. Jobs. The comforts of home.
Yet, in our key verse today, we find Jesus telling them the cost is going to be even higher than they had originally anticipated. The disciples aren’t being asked to lay down some things. They are going to need to lay down everything. Their plans. Their agendas. Maybe even their own lives.
And while it may sound like a lot to ask, because of their willingness to continue following hard after Jesus they will get to experience a level of closeness with Him unlike anyone else.
Closeness when He bends low to wash their feet. (John 13:1-17)
Closeness when He eats with them after His resurrection. (Luke 24:36-43)
Closeness when they are among the first to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:1-4)
So not only did they have the promise of eternity with Him in heaven, they also had the privilege of experiencing unparalleled intimacy with Him on earth.
Could they have received any sweeter gift?
This is what my heart hungers for when it comes to the Lord. I want connection. I want communion. I want closeness. Not only in a distant heavenly future but right here. Right now.
That’s why I’m so thankful Jesus’ invitation to the disciples in Luke 9:23 is for us, too. We are also invited close. Which means we are also called to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.
I realize “taking up our cross” may sound strange or vague at first, but for me it’s meant breaking old habits to create space in my heart for new growth. It’s meant moving beyond a plastic Christian checklist … Go to church. Read the Bible. Don’t cuss. Be nice. Pray. Give to the poor … and letting God mess with any and everyarea of my life.
It has meant things like offering Him my willingness to step away from TV for a season, fixing my eyes on Him first in the morning, instead of my phone and allowing Him to call me to a new level of discipline in my eating habits. Things I have said “yes” to because I long for an ever-closer walk with Him.
I don’t know exactly what following wholeheartedly after God will look like for you. But I do know that if we want to grow closer to God this year, we’ll have to distance ourselves from whatever is distracting us. We’ll have to lay aside whatever we are prone to delight in more than Him.
Let’s ask God which distraction we need to distance ourselves from in order to grow closer to Him, and then let’s do the hard and holy work of denying ourselves. Because a deeper level of intimacy with Him will always be worth the cost.
Lord, show me what stands in the way of intimacy with You, and give me the strength to lay it down — for a season or maybe even forever. I long to be closer to You. No matter the cost. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Luke 9:24, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Spend some time praying, and ask God which distraction you need to distance yourself from in order to grow closer to Him.
Culled from https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/
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