March 6, 2018 at 9:36 am #46005
6th March, 2018
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. How ‘s your week coming along? Today’s devotional is here.
Blinded by Comparison
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV)
Have you ever had a situation that ended up not being anything like it appeared to be?
I was off on an adventure with my friend Amy. A junking adventure. You know, sorting through what some consider trash and turning it into home décor treasure.
But our adventure on an old farm led me in a completely different decorating direction. Because somehow, a sweet baby donkey ended up coming home with me.
Only problem was, I discovered donkeys can’t live alone. So, I did some negotiating and ended up with not one, but TWO donkeys. And according to the man selling me these donkeys, the girl was pregnant.
Basically, it was a BOGO (Buy One-Get One) deal, and I was thrilled.
Since my husband and I are first-generation farmers (read: we have no idea what we’re doing), surprisingly we found out donkeys are pregnant for 11 to 14 months!
And so began: Baby Donkey Watch.
For months, I went outside each day to love on Helen and her ever-growing belly. I posted pictures on social media and everyone became excited about this coming baby donkey.
But 11 months went by, then 12, 13, 14 months … and still no baby donkey. Yet Helen kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
Puzzled, I called the donkey expert to come figure out this situation. I explained things and he gave Helen a quick once-over. Then he said to me (in his deep southern accent), “Ma’am, I’m sorry to tell you this, but that donkey isn’t pregnant.”
Oh. My. Word.
I could not believe it. I mean, I had felt Helen’s stomach move! And why was she getting wider and wider?
Things are not always as they seem.
Honestly, when I think about one of the greatest struggles of my life, comparison, this is a truth I’ve had to pour into my heart over and over.
Comparison tricks me into looking at what others have and who they are and I wonder if somehow, they measure higher in God’s eyes than I do. When I look at others’ success, it’s easy to fall into a destructive mindset. And as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:12, comparison actually makes us unwise.
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12)
Wisdom helps us see beyond every seemingly perfect situation and know there’s usually another story being written. That story is rarely told.
The world loves to shout about success, but we seldom speak of our secret sorrows.
And comparison is often a quiet, sorrowful place we don’t invite others into.
Helen’s stomach grew and grew because she was just … well, eating a lot. Her new home is a pasture with maybe too much grass to feed on. So, dreadfully, I had to pop open my phone and craft a social media post to fill in the entire baby-donkey-watch fan base on this outcome.
People were disappointed, but mostly just laughing with us, not at us.
And I know it’s a super trivial example, but each time I look at Helen I remember, things aren’t always as they seem. And I want to be wise when I look at the world around me so comparison doesn’t compromise the unique story God is writing through my life.
Dear God, help me not be blinded by comparison, and let me see things for what they really are. Father, help me gain a holy confidence in the life You’re building just for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (NIV)
Culled from https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/March 8, 2018 at 9:37 am #46108
8th March, 2018
Good morning all. It’s International Women’s Day today. Happy International Women’s Day to all our beautiful ladies. Have a fun day.
As believers in Christ, the Holy Spirit lives in us, abiding in our spirits. He is the river of life within us. This river is a wonderful gift given to each of us by God. It flows with good health, a positive outlook on life, and a generous and forgiving attitude.
Many people, however, have allowed their river to become stopped-up. They are always discouraged, and no matter what they do, they can’t seem to snap out of it. Years of neglect have turned a once-powerful flowing river into a small stream. Do you know people like this? Does this sound like your life?
Until you’re able to get your river cleared out and unclogged, everything will be difficult, disappointing and unfulfilling. You’ll be unable to taste the water that satisfies like nothing else.
Make a choice today to stop spending your life fighting, struggling and trudging through the mud with every step. Ask God to help you clear out the debris. He’ll show you what’s blocking the flow and how to get rid of it. Then, enjoy the satisfying flow of the river of life
Culled from https://joycemeyer.org/dailydevoMarch 9, 2018 at 8:22 am #46150
9th March, 2018
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I looked at the title of today’s devotional and smiled. God knows our hearts and once we are yielding, He leads us where He wants us to go. Stay blessed.
But How Will I Ever Get There, Lord?
“‘But Lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘how can I rescue Israel?’ … The LORD said to him, ‘I will be with you.’” Judges 6:15a, 16a (NLT)
Laughter. And faith?
It didn’t take long for me to realize these silly teens each took their spiritual life seriously. And they did so in a winsome, attractive way. Very quickly, I was hooked.
During my junior year of high school, I began attending a different church youth group where I saw fun-loving, authentic believers thriving in their faith.
Not only were the students upbeat and hilarious, the leaders took me under their wings and inspired my leadership potential.
One leader, Lenny, was influential in helping me catch a grander vision for my life. A little rough around the edges, Lenny had seen God do the extraordinary, using just the ordinary. He poured his soul into reaching those far from God and building young leaders within the church.
During this time, I began reconnecting with God like never before. I started reading my Bible daily and seeing it with fresh eyes through bite-sized chunks of Scripture.
I also began to pray earnest prayers each night (not just at mealtimes, or right before I took a test!) … realizing my prayer time was actually a conversation with God Himself. Not only could I talk, I could even listen to His direction.
That winter, my new friends convinced me to try attending a summer youth conference in Denver. But there was a major hurdle to climb: funding. Money was tight at home, and since we were so late into the school year, I’d already missed every fundraiser. Without the financial pieces to the puzzle, there was no way I’d be going.
Then the unexpected happened. Lenny called me to say my conference costs were paid in full by an anonymous donor. I was cleared to go to Denver.
Or so I thought.
I soon realized there was another hurdle: my schedule. I’d made a previous commitment to my high school’s summer competitive marching band.
Although I sensed God was providing for me, my mind was filled with doubts as I didn’t see any way possible for my director to allow an upperclassman section leader to miss the final week of competitions. Ultimately, the situation brought me to my knees. One fateful day, I crouched low in my bathroom and cried out to God.
O Lord, this is out of my hands. I do believe I’m supposed to go, but how will I ever get there? What if my director says no, and won’t grant me permission? If You really want me to do this, Lord, then You’ll have to provide the way. Will You help me figure out how I can go?
After a great deal of anxious tears, the Lord guided me with the courage to call my director. To my amazement, he said it sounded like an excellent opportunity and granted me permission.
I never imagined God would take a ragamuffin youth group leader to encourage me in profound ways … or that He’d mysteriously help secure funding for my trip. And to be perfectly honest, I highly doubted He’d answer my prayers for help after I knelt to pray on a bathroom floor.
But there’s a story captured in the book of Judges which reminds me I’m not the only one who’s questioned God’s ability. Even the mighty warrior Gideon asked how God might accomplish something: “‘But Lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘how can I rescue Israel?’ … The LORD said to him, ‘I will be with you” (Judges 6:15a, 16a).
Maybe you’ve had doubts about God’s ability to provide enough time and money for something, too. While I can’t exactly compare attending a national youth conference to rescuing an entire nation, despite my doubts, God was with me. And He’ll do the same for you.
That Denver conference was the culmination of me gradually re-kindling my spiritual fire and firmly committing my life to follow Jesus. I was encouraged to grow spiritually — and forever changed as a result. Though I still have plenty of spiritual growing-up to do, it was a turning point in the right direction, because God used Lenny and friends to make it happen.
Ultimately, the Lord set into motion a renewed faith, and helped instill a lifelong belief that since God knows the plan, He’ll make the path known. When God gives the directive, He’ll grant the direction. (Even if I don’t have a clue how He’ll work out the details!)
Father God, thank You for providing in ways I can’t possibly understand. Forgive me for my doubts, and help me fully trust that You always know what You’re doing. Thanks for allowing me to play a small part in Your grand plans. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (NLT)
Culled from https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/March 12, 2018 at 2:37 pm #46273
12th March, 2018
Hello ladies and gentlemen. Today’s devotional is here and it’s so timely.
What Do They Think of Me?
Friend to Friend
I care a lot about what others think. If you commented that you didn’t like this devotional, I admit my feelings would probably be hurt. If I invited you to a party and you didn’t respond, I’d wonder what I did to offend you. If I was excited to see you at church, and you turned the other way to meet another friend first, I’d feel let down. If I had plans to do great things with God, but you questioned the details, I’d consider a new direction. I’d look away from God.
Ever noticed? With our eyes on everyone else’s intentions, opinions and afflictions, it becomes hard to look up to God. Looking upwards when your head is cast downward in defeat is never easy. Even worse, with our eyes to the floor, the glory of God passes overhead, unobserved.
Yet, I don’t want to miss out on God. I want to be intimate with Jesus. Don’t you?
With this in mind, I wonder, what the secret is to letting go of man so I can grab hold of God?
I’ve discovered, I must remember these three things:
- Jesus didn’t come to do His own business, or even man’s business.
Jesus came to do the Father’s business. This is vitally important. God’s will isn’t for us to be the rescuer of man’s every emotion or the fixer of every problem. His will may be that we let people do as they do so we can wait on God and observe what He is about to do.
“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38, NIV).
- Jesus didn’t let man’s opinion disqualify Him.
While Jesus certainly could have been thrown off by the continuous trial-like questioning of the Pharisees, He chose to keep His eyes on the Father’s plan and to keep walking. Jesus didn’t give up His calling because of other people’s questions.
- Today’s rejection is tomorrow’s renewal.
Ask yourself, “Why? Why do I feel so hurt right now? What am I looking to get from man that God already gives me in full?”
When we do these three things, the God who is Faithful reminds us that He is faithful. We remember how He never fails to be an ever-present help in a time of trouble.
Then, we relate and minister to others from a heart of fullness rather than neediness.
Father God, You love relationship. You love to see Your children connect with a heart of love. Help us to come to You more, so that we can come to others with a heart full of You. We need You. Thank You that you teach us through our pain. You are faithful.
In Jesus’ Name,
Consider a problem in your life that is distracting you from God. Examine it in relation to the three points above. How does it change the view of what you are confronting?
Culled from https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/girlfriends/March 15, 2018 at 8:33 am #46410
15th March, 2018
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Hope your week is coming along just great. The devotional for today is here.
The wise in heart are called prudent, understanding, and knowing, and winsome speech increases learning [in both speaker and listener]. — Proverbs 16:21
A word we don’t hear much about today is prudence. It means “careful management: economy.”
In the Bible, prudence, or prudent, means “being good stewards or managers of the gifts God has given us to use.” Those gifts include time, energy, strength and health—even material possessions. They include our bodies, as well as our minds and spirits.
Just as each one of us has been given a different set of gifts, each of us has been given different levels of ability to manage those gifts.
Too many people burn themselves out, constantly using their gifts and abilities in ways that God did not intend them to. Instead of pushing ourselves too hard to please others or reach our own personal goals, we need to listen to God and do what He’s telling us is wise.
Trying to impress people and live up to their standards isn’t prudence. Prudence means asking God how He wants you to use your gifts and then obeying. Learn God’s prudence today and put it into practice so you can enjoy your life the way He intended.
Culled from https://joycemeyer.org/dailydevoMarch 16, 2018 at 2:27 pm #46423
16th March, 2018
Hello ladies and gentlemen. TGIF right? But there is always time for a devotional and today’s own, I found particularly comforting.
When What You Stuffed Blows Up
“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8 (NIV)
I was doing fine … until the moment I wasn’t.
While I felt comfortable and confident sitting in my seat, I was overwhelmed by doubt and anxiety as I walked forward to complete my assignment. Insecurity and fear assaulted me, and suddenly I was a trembling mess.
I stumbled through what I’d come to do, but afterward I agonized over my flop. What in the world happened? I wondered. How had my assurance so quickly crumbled?
When I quieted my heart and mind to listen for God’s response to these questions, I knew the answer in an instant.
Instead of surrendering my anxieties, I had stuffed them.
There were many obstacles I faced before my meltdown. Instead of handing them over to God one by one, I refused to think about them, creating a false and temporary sense of calm. As the punchline goes, “Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt!”
When a difficult person needled me, I pushed down my frustration.
When my insecurities told me I wasn’t good enough, I filed it away at the back of my mind.
When others around me were discouraged, I gave lip service to encouragement without applying my own words.
When a loved one accused me, I acted like all was well — even though I felt attacked.
I stuffed my emotions with each setback until it all blew up … right as I was about to complete a God-given assignment.
Only in retrospect did I realize that evading my feelings was a poor strategy. I thought I had them all under control, but the reality was I didn’t have them managed at all. They were still there pressed just under the surface so in the end, my emotions erupted and managed to undo me.
In God’s faithfulness, He reminded me of a Scripture I memorized years before, “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8). God has used the psalmist David’s exhortation over and over again. These words encourage my hiding heart to face emotional realities with Him instead of on my own. When we look at the verses leading to our key passage, we find truths that allow us to surrender our emotions to God with confidence.
God offers rest when we’re stressed.
Psalm 62:5 says, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him” (NIV). David wrote this song in a time of suffering when others were attacking him, but instead of battling on alone, he reminded his tired soul to rest. When hard circumstances are coming at us, we don’t have to fight exhaustion by ourselves. God offers us rest and hope if we’ll turn to Him.
God offers stability when we’re shaky.
“Truly he is my rock and my salvation,” (Psalm 62:6a, NIV) the first part of verse 6 reminds us. Though our emotions are like a rolling, ever-changing sea, God is our never-failing rock. Stuffing our feelings never steadies us, but standing on the Rock always does.
God offers refuge when we feel left out in the cold.
Having others come against us can leave us feeling exposed and lonely, but the last part of verse 6 reminds us, “he is my fortress, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 62:6b, NIV). We have a place to run when our emotions are assaulted by rejection. We can run to Christ, our fortress and refuge.
Stuffing our emotions never solves our problems. Instead, stuffing creates a new dynamic where latent emotions explode at the most inopportune times. Let’s choose to surrender our emotions instead, pouring out our hearts to the One who’s our Rest, our Rock and our Refuge.
Lord, I find it hard to come to You with my emotions. I think I need to deal with them by myself, but You remind me to surrender them to You. Today, I pour out my heart to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 John 3:19-20, “This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” (NIV)
Culled from https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/
- Jesus didn’t come to do His own business, or even man’s business.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.